11 Aug 2009

European shares fall

6:09 am on 11 August 2009

European shares fell on Monday after rising to their highest close in more than nine months on Friday.

The FTSEurofirst 300 of top European shares closed 0.6% lower at 944.64 points.

Shares in Rio Tinto shed 3.2% after China stepped up its spying accusations against the company.

Xstrata, BHP Billiton, Anglo American, Fresnillo, Kazakhmys and Antofagasta were down 2% - 4%.

Volkswagen sank 7.5% after HSBC downgraded its rating on the carmaker. Daimler lost 3.7% after Morgan Stanley downgraded it.

The FTSEurofirst 300 ended higher for a fourth consecutive week on Friday.

Despite Monday's losses, the index is up 46% since March. It slumped nearly 45% last year.

In Frankfurt, the DAX index ended at 5418.12 points, down 40.84 or 0.75%.

In Paris - the CAC-40 index closed at 3504.54 points, down 16.6 or 0.47%. The Swiss market index closed at 6007.55 points, down 18.85 or 0.31%.

In London, the FTSE 100 ended down 0.2%, or 9.36 points at 4,722.20.

Other markets

In Tokyo, the Nikkei rose 1.1% or 112.17 points to 10,524.26 - its highest finish since 3 October.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index finished up 2.72% or 554.15 points at 20,929.52 - its highest closing level since September.

South African markets were closed on Monday for a public holiday.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index closed up 4.7 points, or 0.1%, at 4,304.1. The All Ordinaries index gained 6.1 points, or 0.14%, to 4309.2.

On the Sydney Futures Exchange, the September share price index futures contract was five points higher at 4267 on a volume of 22,970 contracts.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 index closed up 11 points, or 0.4%, to 3080 on turnover of $57 million.

The dollar was trading at 67.35 US cents, 80.15 Australian cents, 40.29 pence, 65.53 yen and 0.4739 euro. The Trade Weighted Index was at 62.83.