European Stocks Mixed as Greek Stock Exchange Reopens
London (Aug 3) European markets were mixed on Monday amid another corporate earnings blast, while Greek stocks tumbled on the first trading day after a five-week shutdown.
In London, the FTSE was down 0.13% at 6,687.55, while in Paris, the CAC 40 inched up 0.20% to 5,092.33. In Frankfurt, the DAX crawled 0.42% higher to 11,356.34.
In Greece, the Athens Stock Exchange General Index erased more than 20%, though paring some losses by the end of the morning. Greek stocks were led lower by National Bank of Greece (NBG - Get Report) and Piraeus Bank (BPIRY), as trading resumed in the Greek capital for the first time since June 26. Trading restrictions remain in place for domestic investors due to capital controls, amid continued uncertainty over the final terms of the country's third international bailout still being negotiated.
Fortunately for the rest of the common-currency area, the latest Greek debt crisis has not hurt the manufacturing economy, as shown in Markit Economics' eurozone Purchasing Manufacturers' Index released Monday. The final July gauge came in at 52.4, up from a preliminary reading of 52.2 and a final June figure of 52.5.
A separate report from Markit on U.K. manufacturing showed that July new export orders fell for the fourth straight month, mainly as a result of the sterling-euro exchange rate hitting competitiveness in eurozone markets.
Elsewhere in the region, corporate news pulled stocks in both directions.
In London, HSBC Holdings (HSBC) rose 0.55% after Europe's second-largest bank posted a 10% jump in first-half pretax profit. It also announced an agreement to sell its money-losing Brazil unit for a $5.2 billion in cash to Brazil's Banco Bradesco (BBD).
Rolls Royce Holdings (RYCEF) added 4.8% worth of vroom, after San Francisco-based activist hedge fund ValueAct Capital Management revealed that it had built up a 5.5% stake, raising the prospect that it may push for a breakup.
Among London decliners, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS - Get Report) fell 0.85% amid reports that the U.K. government may start selling some of its stake in the Edinburgh-based lender as early as today. The reports come after RBS posted an unexpected second-quarter profit last week.
In Amsterdam, Heineken (HEINY) jumped 4.93% after the world's third-largest brewer posted better-than-expected first-half results, driven by strong growth in the premium segment. Adjusted earnings climbed 6.5% to €1.55 billion.