European Markets Mostly Lower; Micro Focus Surges On Deal

Paris (Sept 15)  The European markets are mostly lower on Monday, after weak data emerged out of  China  . Sentiment was also impacted by apprehension ahead of the Scottish independence referendum slated for Thursday.

On the economic front, the Eurozone trade surplus decreased for the second straight month in July, Eurostat reported. The trade surplus fell unexpectedly to a seasonally adjusted  12.2 billion euros  from  13.8 billion euros  in June. The surplus was forecast to rise to  15.5 billion euros  .

Swiss producer and import prices declined for the eleventh consecutive month in August, data from the Federal Statistical Office showed. Producer and import prices fell 1.2% year-on-year in August after decreasing 0.8% in July. The index has been falling since last October.

 The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development  lowered its growth outlook for major developed nations and urged the  European Central Bank  to take further steps to boost demand.

In its interim economic assessment, the OECD said a moderate expansion is underway in most major advanced and emerging economies, but growth remains weak in the euro area.

Chinese industrial production and retail sales increased at slower than expected rates in August, data from the  National Bureau of Statistics  showed Saturday. Industrial production rose 6.9% year-over-year in August following a 9% rise in July. This was slower than the 8.8% growth estimated by economists.

A separate report showed that Chinese retail sales expanded 11.9% year-over-year in August, which was slower than the 12.2% increase in July. This was also slower than the 12.1% increase expected by economists.

The  Euro Stoxx 50  index of eurozone bluechip stocks is losing 0.08%, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major  UK  companies, is falling 0.02%.

The German DAX is gaining 0.09%, erasing early losses, while  Switzerland's  SMI is losing 0.09%. The French CAC 40 and the  FTSE  100 index of the  UK  are falling 0.25% each.

In  Frankfurt  ,  Lufthansa  is dropping around 2% after its pilots from  Frankfurt Airport  announced a strike on  September 16  .

 Deutsche Post  and  Infineon Technologies  are falling notably.  Henkel  is up around 1%.

 LEG Immobilien  is losing 1.4%. The stock was cut to "Neutral" from "Buy" at  Goldman Sachs  .

Meanwhile,  Adidas  is rising 1.4% and  Deutsche Telekom  is up 1%.

 TUI AG  is gaining nearly 5%. The company and its unit  TUI Travel  have reached agreement on the terms of a recommended all-share nil-premium merger.  TUI Travel  is up 2% in  London  .

In  Paris  , oil field services provider  Technip  and oil explorer Total are falling 1.7% and 1.2%, respectively.

 Alcatel Lucent  and  ArcelorMittal  are dropping 1.1% and 1%, respectively.

 Air France-KLM  is declining 3.6%. The firm is operating only 48% of its flights on Monday as 60% of its pilots refrained from work on the first day of the week long strike announced by the pilots union.

LVMH and  Kering  are making moderate gains.

In  London  ,  Sports Direct  is declining 3.1% and Babcock is falling 1.8%.  Lloyds Banking  is losing 1.7%.

 Monitise  is losing over 2% after full year loss widened.

SAB Miller is gaining 4.4% and  Diageo  is rising 2%.

Dutch brewer  Heineken N.V.  confirmed Sunday that  SABMiller PLC  had approached the company regarding a potential acquisition. However, Heineken, after consulting its majority shareholder, rejected the proposal and intends to remain independent. Heineken added 1.4% in  Amsterdam  .

Mainframe computer specialist  Micro Focus International  is climbing over 13% after it announced a deal to combine with privately-held peer  Attachmate Group, Inc. 

Swedish apparel retailer  Hennes & Mauritz  reported strong growth in sales for August as well as for its third quarter.

 TDC  , which announced the purchase of  Norway  cable-TV provider  Get AS  , is declining over 8% in  Copenhagen  .

US-based  Danaher Corp.  has entered into a definitive transaction agreement with  Nobel Biocare Holding AG  to acquire it in an all-cash transaction valued at about  USD2.2 billion  . Nobel Biocare's stock is moderately lower in  Zurich  .

The major Asian markets retreated, with the exception of the Chinese market, as weak data released by  China  triggered growth concerns and the negative performance by  Wall Street  stocks engendered risk aversion. The Japanese market was closed for a public holiday.

The US futures indicate a lower open on  Wall Street  . In the previous session, the major averages climbed off their worst levels going into the close but remained stuck in the red. The Dow fell 0.4%, the Nasdaq dropped 0.5% and the S&P 500 slid 0.6%.

Among commodities, crude for October delivery is losing  USD0.68  to  USD91.59  per barrel, while December gold is advancing  USD4.8  to  USD1236.3  a troy ounce.

Source:  AllianceNews