LONDON (TheDeal) -- Asian markets rallied overnight after China cut interest rates for the third time in six months to help pump a little extra life into its slowing economy, but European markets generally failed to follow. While London was still warming itself in the afterglow of last week's surprise election victory by Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative Party, other European markets were preoccupied with Monday's crisis talks with Greece.
Eurozone finance ministers are meeting in Brussels with little hope of reaching a deal. Yet Greece needs a disbursement of European bailout money to help make a repayment of $837 million to the International Monetary Fund Tuesday.
The FTSE 100 was up 0.32% to 7,069.61, but in Paris, the CAC 40 was down 1.29% to 5,024.69. In Frankfurt, the DAX was down 0.40% to 11,662.36. In Greece, the Athens General Index was down 2.78% to 815.62, led down by the country's banks.
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) was up 0.65% at 354.70 pence, on reports the government might consider an early sale of part of its 80% stake in the Edinburgh-based bank, even though the bank is trading well below the price at which the government bought its shares. The government has been reducing its much smaller stake in rival Lloyds Banking (LYG) with sales on the market. Lloyds was down 0.13% this morning at 86.74 pence.
British owned platinum miner Lonmin (LNMIY) rose 2.18% to 145.10 pence, despite announcing an underlying half-year loss before taxation of $77 million compared with a $26 million profit last time. The loss was attributed to weaker prices for platinum, but the company no longer has to cope with the South Africa strike that dogged its operations last year. It has already announced a cost-cutting program to help deal with the debts that mounted during the 2014 troubles.
Belgian supermarket operator Delhaize (DEG) was up 15.13% at €83.34, while its larger Dutch rival Koninklijke Ahold (AHONY) was up 6.64% at €18.38, after Belgian newspapers reported unconfirmed merger talks between the two. Both chains make a majority of their money in the United States. Analysts at Rabobank said a merged business would generate net earnings of €1.2 billion on sales of €54 billion in 2014 and might find as much as €1 billion in cost savings.
In Asia, the Nikkei 225 closed up 1.25% at 19,620.91, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng was up 0.51% at 27,718.20 and the Shanghai Composite closed up 3.04% at 4333.58.