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Market Update

Markets in Europe and Asia Struggle, U.S. and U.K. on Holiday

Author: Nichole Harper
Last Update: 1:06 PM ET May 25 2015

1:00 PM – In quiet trading in Europe and in Asia, indexes generally traded lower as the U.S. and U.K. markets were closed. Euro was in focus after Greek default worries resurfaced and indexes in Spain dropped more than 2%.

Markets in Europe closed down and in Asia traded lower and commodities edged higher in Europe as markets in the U.S. and London were closed.

Crude oil in New York rose 14 cents to $59.86 a barrel and gold jumped $1.10 to $1,206 an ounce.

European Markets

European markets traded lower after Spain’s ruling party lost in regional election and Greek debt worries resurfaced.

Spain’s IBEX equity index dropped 2.3% after voters rejected Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s ruling party in regional and local elections.

In Paris, CAC 40 index slipped 0.7% or 38.05 to 5,104.84 and markets in London were closed for a Bank Holiday.

AstraZeneca Plc gained 0.8% to 4,460 pence and the company said the U.S.-based Amgen Inc has agreed to terminate psoriasis drug development collaboration on safety concerns and limited number of patients using late-stage experimental drug.

DS Smith Plc rose 0.2% to 377 pence after the European antitrust authorities approved the acquisition of Austria-based paper producer Duropack GmbH for about €300 million.

Electricite de France SA slipped 1.3% to €22.91 after the France-based electricity producer made a preliminary offer to acquire the nuclear reactor maintenance division of Areva SA for about €2 billion.

Asian Markets

Nikkei average in Tokyo closed higher and April month trade deficit tumbled after exports to the U.S. and the European Union advanced. Takata Corp declined after Mazda said it will recalls vehicles in Australia to fix airbag related problems.

Markets in Japan closed higher and April month trade deficit tumbled after exports rose and imports declined.

The trade deficit in April tumbled 93.5% to 53.4 billion yen compared to 227.4 billion yen surplus in March and from 825.5 billion yen deficit from a year ago month, the Ministry of Finance said.

In April, exports climbed 8% to 6.55 trillion yen while imports declined 4.2% to 6.6 trillion yen.

Exports to the U.S. surged 21.4% to 1.36 trillion yen from a year ago month while exports to the European Union increased 0.8% to 639.25 billion yen.

Exports to Asia climbed 6% to 3.46 trillion yen while exports to China jumped 2.4% to 1.12 trillion yen.

Imports from the U.S. soared 23.9% to 714.13 billion yen while imports from the European Union increased 1.2% to 674.53 billion yen.

The Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 149.36 or 0.7% to 20,413.77 and the broader Topix index increased 11.30 to 1,659.15.

The yen closed at 121.62 against a dollar.

Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd slipped 1.7% to 5,160 yen after the beverages and food maker agreed to acquire about 260,000 machines from Japan Tobacco Inc. for about 150 billion yen or $1.2 billion.

Tokyo Electric Power Company, Inc surged 6.7% to 624 yen after the Nikkei news reported electric power supplier and Mitsubishi Corporation signed a 25-year power and water purchase agreement for about 300 billion yen with Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation and K1 Energy.

The agreement is to build and run 2.4 million kilowatts gas-fired power plant and water desalinate plant in Qatar. In the partnership, Mitsubishi will hold 98.5% stake and TEPCO will own 1.5%.

Market indexes in Mumbai declined following weak regional markets in Asia and ITC Ltd dropped after reported weaker-than-expected earnings.

Investors were cautious ahead of the release of economic growth data on Friday and rupee remained on the edge on the worries that the U.S. Federal Reserve is preparing to raise rates.

Rupee weakened 4 paisa to 63.56 against one U.S. dollar.

The Sensex Index dropped 313.62 or 1.01% to close at 27,643.88. The CNX Nifty slipped 88.70 or 1.1% to 8,370.25.

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Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc