European News: European stock markets rose in muted holiday trading …

European stock markets rose in muted holiday trading yesterday amid weak Italian economic data despite a strong start to the new week for Asian equity prices.
London’s FTSE 100 index of leading shares added 0.48% to 6,755.63 points, while in Frankfurt the Dax 30 index set a fresh record high close after climbing 0.69% to 8,455.83 points, and in Paris the Cac 40 rose 0.54% to 4,022.85 points.
European markets edged up yesterday “following another record finish in US markets on Friday and an upbeat session in Asia overnight”, said Ishaq Siddiqi, market strategist at traders ETX Capital.
Milan’s main index slid 0.55% to 17,506 points as official data revealed industrial orders in Italy plunged by 10% in March on a 12-month comparison. They, however, rose by 1.6% from February, as eurozone member Italy suffers its longest-ever recession.
In foreign exchange deals, the European single currency grew to $1.2868 from $1.2834 late in New York on Friday.
The dollar dropped to ¥102.51 from ¥103.19 on Friday, when the Japanese currency had reached the lowest level versus the US currency at ¥103.31 in intra-day trading.
“In the currency market, the yen climbed against its rivals after Japan’s Economy Minister Akira Amari said further losses in the currency would negatively affect people,” noted Siddiqi.
He added: “The sharp strengthening in the yen has seen gold and metal prices plunge in overnight trade as investors sold metals to cover foreign exchange losses.”
On the London Bullion Market, the price of gold slid to $1,354.75 an ounce from $1,368.75 late on Friday.
In European corporate news, French food giant Danone announced it is ramping up its presence in the growing Chinese market for dairy products investing about €325mn ($418mn) in joint ventures with Cofco and Mengniu.
Danone shares rose 1.8% to €59.17.
US stocks drifted up yesterday amid a flurry of merger and acquisition news, including the Yahoo! takeover of blogging platform Tumblr.
In midday trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was showing a gain of 0.13% to 15,373.70 points.
The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.2% to 3,506.4 and the broad-market S&P 500 rose 0.24% to 1,671.42.
US drug maker Actavis reached an agreement to acquire Irish rival Warner Chilcott for about $8.5bn in stock, while struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! agreed to an all-cash acquisition of Tumblr for $1.1bn.
Yahoo! shares rose around 1% after confirming weekend reports of the tie-up, in a deal which helps the struggling Internet company connect with the privately-held Tumblr’s youthful users.

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during morning trading yesterday. US stocks drifted up
yesterday amid a flurry of merger and acquisition news, including the Yahoo! takeover of blogging platform Tumblr.

Reported by: Caye Global News, Gulf Times

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