Sunday, August 28, 2011

Europe close: Rally not enough

Globe with dollar Stock Photo - 8127351
Bourses rallied ahead of the close but finished lower on a day that was dominated by uncertainty surrounding the Federal Reserve annual meeting.

The Fed still has tools to stimulate the economy chairman Ben Bernanke said, while declining to provide details as to when they might be used.

The Paris CAC 40 closed 31 lower at 3,087, the German DAX 30 lost 46 points to closed at 5,537 and the Spanish IBEX closed down 113 at 5,537.

Swiss drugs making behemoth Roche received a blow when scientists reported that an outbreak of H1N1 swine flu that has broken out in the Newcastle area of Australia has proved resistant to Roche's Tamiflu treatment.

Elsewhere in Switzerland, insurer Baloise is hit by a downgrade by Deutche Bank from "hold" to "sell".

Shipping company Frontline sank after its second-quarter net loss was worse than the market had been expecting. Analysts had pencilled in a red figure of 37 cents for loss per share; the company's basic loss per share was 45 cents, versus earnings per share in the corresponding quarter of last year of $1.04.

The underlying net loss was $35.24, compared to net income last year of $81.31m. Total operating revenues slumped to $219.4m from $356.12m the year before.

Essilor, the world's biggest maker of corrective lenses, saw post-tax profit rise 8% year-on-year in the first half of 2011, to €258m. The company maintained its sales growth guidance range for the full year at 6% to 8%.

German chemicals company Lanxess was under a cloud after its chief executive. Axel Heitmann, sold around €10m worth of shares in the company.

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