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Aug. 8, 2012, 12:30 p.m. EDT

Europe stocks eke out 4th straight rise

Standard Chartered rebounds 9%; Securitas sinks on Spain woes

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By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch

MADRID (MarketWatch) — European stocks ended a choppy session with a tiny rise Wednesday, tracking modest gains on Wall Street as investors shrugged off euro-zone debt worries.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP +1.42% closed 0.2% higher at 269.20. The index gained 0.8% on Tuesday as investors brushed aside negative economic data from Europe and chose to focus instead on hopes for European Central Bank action over the debt crisis.

Earlier, investors seemed ready to cash in on recent gains, particularly in drug and food stocks. Shares of French drug group Sanofi SA /zigman2/quotes/206928357/delayed FR:SAN -1.18% /zigman2/quotes/201967021/composite SNY -0.59% fell 1.7%.

Neil Wilkinson, who manages the £471 million London European growth fund at Royal London Asset Management, said markets are thin, with many market players on vacation or about to take vacation.

That leaves space for some near-term profit-taking, he said.

“Markets have moved pretty substantially in a short space of time,” Wilkinson said. “We’ve had an 8% to 9% move in euro terms since [European Central Bank President Mario] Draghi made his comment [that] ‘We will do whatever it takes to preserve the euro’ about eight or nine trading sessions ago.

“That’s a fairly significant move,” he said. “There is an element of profit-taking, and I’ve certainly done some of that. I’ve trimmed back holdings in financials and autos that have moved a lot. We’ve had a lot of news flow in a short space of time and an awful lot of second-quarter results as well.”

Wall Street initially appeared vulnerable to profit-taking pressures, but later turned slightly positive. See: U.S. stocks steady after three-day rise.

The news that did flow Wednesday included a cut by the Bank of England of its growth and inflation forecasts in a quarterly inflation report. Economists predicted the central bank would make such moves, which may pave the way for further monetary easing. See First Take: Best hope for U.K.? That King’s wrong again.

Shares of ING Groep N.V. /zigman2/quotes/203351007/delayed NL:INGA +0.71% fell 1.3% in Amsterdam after the bank reported a profit decline. The company said it was taking “aggressive” steps to cut its exposure to Spain.

The FTSE 100 index /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +0.27% ended 0.1% higher at 269.20.

Shares of banking group Standard Chartered PLC /zigman2/quotes/200125072/delayed UK:STAN +0.51% /zigman2/quotes/202369078/delayed HK:2888 +2.49% rallied 8.6%, a day after a 16% rout. New York’s financial regulator accused the bank of hiding transactions with Iran worth $250 billion on Tuesday. See First Take: Standard Chartered will test a new line.

News reports said other regulators were angry with the New York State Department of Financial Services for going it alone and accusing the bank of laundering money for Iranian institutions. Reuters reported that the U.S. Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve were given no notice of the impending action by the regulator. Read Market Pulse: Other regulators angry over StanChart move.

Also providing support in London, shares of Rio Tinto PLC /zigman2/quotes/208934945/delayed UK:RIO +1.26% /zigman2/quotes/202627887/composite RIO +1.47% rose 2.9%. The mining group reported a 22% fall in first-half profit as metals prices fell and spoke of near-term uncertainty but said it was confident about demand in the long run.

Click to Play

Italian premier talks tough

Mario Monti tells Alessandra Galloni that European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi is “morally and politically” protected in making bold moves at the right moment.

The Spain IBEX 35 index /zigman2/quotes/210597995/delayed XX:IBEX +0.50% fell 0.8% to 7,150.20, giving back some of the 4%-plus gains seen earlier in the week. Banco Santander SA /zigman2/quotes/205677933/delayed ES:SAN +0.66% /zigman2/quotes/202859081/composite SAN +2.05% trimmed an earlier loss to decline 0.1% and BBVA SA /zigman2/quotes/209653399/delayed ES:BBVA +0.68% slipped 0.3%. Each has gained around 7% this week.

Markets have gained ground in recent sessions on the view that the European Central Bank will step in with bond-buying purchases of hard-hit countries like Spain based on the outcome of the last central-bank meeting. See Matthew Lynn column: Don't get suckered in by the Draghi put.

As a reminder of the effect the crisis is having across Europe, Swedish security-services company Securitas AB /zigman2/quotes/203151739/delayed SE:SECU.B +5.89% said it may have to terminate Spanish contracts because it is worried clients may not be able to pay their bills. It also reported a lower second-quarter net profit than in the year-earlier period. Shares of Securitas fell 8.8%. See: Securitas CEO prepares for more pain in Spain.

The Greece ASE Composite index /zigman2/quotes/210597948/delayed GR:GD +0.46% fell 1.4% to 611.50. S&P said late Tuesday that it was cutting Greece’s ratings outlook to negative from stable on the view the country may not be able to secure further bailout funds from the European Union and International Monetary Fund. See: S&P lowers Greece ratings outlook to negative.

Led by losses for Sanofi, the French CAC 40 index /zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed FR:PX1 +1.64% fell 0.4% to 3,438.26. Shares of supermarket operator Carrefour SA /zigman2/quotes/208564127/delayed FR:CA -0.91% fell 1.7%, after rallying more than 6% so far this week. I

Automobile group Peugeot SA /zigman2/quotes/203546414/delayed FR:UG -4.21% rose 2% in Paris. Japan’s Mitsubishi Motors Corp. /zigman2/quotes/202404490/delayed JP:7211 +3.17% reportedly said Wednesday that it has “temporarily” halted shipments of its i-MieV electric car to the French group due to adjustment of inventory.

The German DAX 30 index /zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed DX:DAX +1.62% fell 1.8 points, or less than 0.1%, to end at 6,966.15, with shares of airline Deutsche Lufthansa AG /zigman2/quotes/205496028/delayed DE:LHA +0.72% down 3%. Members of the air-cabin-crew union UFO voted for a strike, with talks between the body and Lufthansa set to resume Aug. 16.

Financials also fell in Frankfurt, with Deutsche Bank AG /zigman2/quotes/205584254/delayed DE:DBK 0.00% /zigman2/quotes/203042512/composite DB +0.54% down 0.4%. Car makers pulled back from recent gains, with Volkswagen AG /zigman2/quotes/204309985/delayed DE:VOW3 +0.33% down 1%.

/zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed
XX : STOXX
443.93
+6.22 +1.42%
Volume: 0.00
May 27, 2022 5:50p
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/zigman2/quotes/206928357/delayed
FR : France: Euronext Paris
102.38
-1.22 -1.18%
Volume: 2.13M
May 27, 2022 5:37p
P/E Ratio
20.69
Dividend Yield
3.25%
Market Cap
€130.22 billion
Rev. per Employee
€395,643
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201967021/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 55.17
-0.33 -0.59%
Volume: 3.54M
May 27, 2022 3:59p
P/E Ratio
18.90
Dividend Yield
2.28%
Market Cap
$139.57 billion
Rev. per Employee
$467,643
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203351007/delayed
NL : Netherlands: Euronext Amsterdam
10.19
+0.07 +0.71%
Volume: 11.48M
May 27, 2022 5:37p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
6.08%
Market Cap
€38.11 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed
UK : FTSE UK
7,585.46
+20.54 +0.27%
Volume: 579,898
May 27, 2022 4:57p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200125072/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
627.00 p
+3.20 +0.51%
Volume: 6.15M
May 27, 2022 4:35p
P/E Ratio
14.47
Dividend Yield
1.45%
Market Cap
£18.51 billion
Rev. per Employee
£167,448
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202369078/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
$ 61.85
+1.50 +2.49%
Volume: 2.54M
May 27, 2022 4:08p
P/E Ratio
13.26
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$182.72 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.79M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208934945/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
5,702.00 p
+71.00 +1.26%
Volume: 1.94M
May 27, 2022 4:35p
P/E Ratio
6.07
Dividend Yield
12.47%
Market Cap
£93.42 billion
Rev. per Employee
£935,616
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202627887/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 73.19
+1.06 +1.47%
Volume: 1.99M
May 27, 2022 3:59p
P/E Ratio
5.63
Dividend Yield
10.83%
Market Cap
$117.47 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.29M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210597995/delayed
XX : Spain: Madrid
8,933.60
+44.80 +0.50%
Volume: 194.95M
May 27, 2022 5:38p
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/zigman2/quotes/205677933/delayed
ES : Spain: Madrid
3.04
+0.02 +0.66%
Volume: 56.36M
May 27, 2022 5:38p
P/E Ratio
6.41
Dividend Yield
2.66%
Market Cap
€51.50 billion
Rev. per Employee
€352,068
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202859081/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 3.24
+0.07 +2.05%
Volume: 3.17M
May 27, 2022 3:59p
P/E Ratio
5.87
Dividend Yield
2.30%
Market Cap
$55.19 billion
Rev. per Employee
$408,445
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/209653399/delayed
ES : Spain: Madrid
5.04
+0.03 +0.68%
Volume: 14.89M
May 27, 2022 5:38p
P/E Ratio
7.78
Dividend Yield
1.29%
Market Cap
€33.31 billion
Rev. per Employee
€297,803
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203151739/delayed
SE : Sweden: Stockholm
kr 106.95
+5.95 +5.89%
Volume: 1.80M
May 27, 2022 5:29p
P/E Ratio
11.84
Dividend Yield
4.11%
Market Cap
kr36.82 billion
Rev. per Employee
kr320,243
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/zigman2/quotes/210597948/delayed
GR : Athens Exchange
891.41
+4.09 +0.46%
Volume: 0.00
May 27, 2022 5:19p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed
FR : France: Euronext Paris
6,515.75
+105.17 +1.64%
Volume: 70,892
May 27, 2022 6:05p
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/zigman2/quotes/208564127/delayed
FR : France: Euronext Paris
19.11
-0.18 -0.91%
Volume: 1.59M
May 27, 2022 5:38p
P/E Ratio
14.10
Dividend Yield
2.72%
Market Cap
€14.37 billion
Rev. per Employee
€232,460
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203546414/delayed
FR : France: Euronext Paris
21.85
-0.96 -4.21%
Volume: 0.00
Jan. 15, 2021 6:39p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
€19.38 billion
Rev. per Employee
€357,941
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202404490/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 390.00
+12.00 +3.17%
Volume: 16.94M
May 27, 2022 3:00p
P/E Ratio
7.84
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
¥562.41 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥67.76M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed
DAX
DX : Xetra Indices
14,462.19
+230.90 +1.62%
Volume: 71,341
May 27, 2022 6:30p
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/zigman2/quotes/205496028/delayed
DE : Germany: Frankfurt
6.87
+0.05 +0.72%
Volume: 21,248
May 27, 2022 7:46p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
N/A
Rev. per Employee
€264,465
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205584254/delayed
DE : Germany: Frankfurt
10.46
0.00 0.00%
Volume: 26,502
May 27, 2022 9:21p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
N/A
Rev. per Employee
€417,912
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203042512/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 11.25
+0.06 +0.54%
Volume: 2.18M
May 27, 2022 3:59p
P/E Ratio
8.53
Dividend Yield
1.87%
Market Cap
$23.05 billion
Rev. per Employee
$437,232
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204309985/delayed
DE : Germany: Frankfurt
152.00
+0.50 +0.33%
Volume: 2,328
May 27, 2022 9:08p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
N/A
Rev. per Employee
€354,929
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Barbara Kollmeyer is an editor for MarketWatch in Madrid.

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