Europe stocks rebound from bank scare; Asia muted

Mumbai-India  (July 11)   European stock markets rebounded Friday after slumping on worries about the soundness of a bank in  Portugal  , while trading in  Asia  was muted over the specter of more financial turmoil in  Europe  .

Markets worldwide had fallen Thursday because of jitters about the financial stability of  Portugal's   Espirito Santo International  , which reportedly missed a debt payment this week and was cited for accounting irregularities, echoing issues that sparked  Europe's  debt crisis four years ago.

 Germany's  DAX was up 0.1 percent to 9,666.12 and the CAC-40 in  France  rose 0.5 percent to 4,320.68. The  FTSE  100 in  London  gained 0.3 percent to 6,688.79.

The euro rose slightly to  $1.3609  , indicating that the  Portugal  scare had not rattled confidence in  Europe  for very long. The dollar inched up to  101.33 yen  from  101.30 yen  late Thursday.

"I suppose the question on investors' minds is whether this latest  Portugal  banking crisis will lead to contagion in the region," said IG strategist  Stan Shamu  said in a market commentary. "Judging by the reaction in the single currency, then possibly the market doesn't quite feel this is the case."

Futures augured gains on  Wall Street  . Dow futures added 0.2 percent to 16,883 and S&P 500 futures rose 0.2 percent to 1,962.40.

Still, most Asian stock markets were dragged down earlier Friday, either in reaction to the  Portugal  news or by local factors.

 Japan's   Nikkei  225 slipped 0.3 percent to 15,164.04 and  South Korea's  Kospi fell 0.7 percent to 1,988.74.

 Hong Kong's  Hang Seng closed nearly flat at 23,233.45 while  Taiwan's  Taiex shed 0.7 percent to 9,495.84.  Australia  and  China  were exceptions, with  Sydney's  S&P/ASX 200 adding 0.4 percent to 5,486.80 and the Shanghai Composite up 0.4 percent to 2,046.96.

 India's  Sensex was down 1.3 percent at 25,024.35 a day after the new government's maiden budget that some analysts criticized as insufficiently bold.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude for August delivery was down  27 cents  at  $102.66  a barrel in electronic trading on the  New York Mercantile Exchange  . The contract gained  64 cents  to  $102.93  on Thursday.