1:45 PM Frankfurt Ė The European indexes edged lower in weak trading across the region. The UK jobless claimant count fell unexpectedly in July. Hungarian production eased in June. Lloyds Banking agreed to sell a portfolio of private equity investments for £1.03 billion.
European indexes were caught in the summer doldrums and weak trading volumes and general unease about the future steps from the central banks in the region.
The Bank of England policymakers were unanimous in retaining quantitative easing program at £375 billion and the interest rate unchanged at 0.50%, according to the minutes of the meeting held on August 1 and 2.
In Paris trading, the CAC-40 Index declined 9.71 or 0.3% to 3,440.06 and in Frankfurt the DAX Index edged lower 29.59 or 0.3% to 6,944.86.
The yields on Spainís benchmark 10-year bonds climbed three basis points to 6.70%. Italian 10-year yields fell two basis points to 5.81%.
UK Jobless Claims Fall
The number of people claiming jobless benefits in the UK declined in July, latest data from the Office for National Statistics showed today.
The claimant count declined by 5,900 persons monthly to 1.59 million in July.
The seasonally adjusted claimant count rate for the UK was 4.9% in July, unchanged from June.
The unemployment rate was 8% of the economically active population, down 0.2% on the quarter. The number of unemployed declined 46,000 from the previous quarter to 2.56 million.
Hungarian Output Slows
Hungarian industrial production rose a working-day adjusted 0.6% annually in June, after growing 2.4% in May, final data released by the Central Statistics Office showed.
From a month ago, industrial production declined a seasonal-and-working-day adjusted 2.2% in June, after rising 3.5% in May.
Lloyds Sells Interest in Private Equity
Lloyds Banking Group plc agreed the sale of a portfolio of private equity-related investments with around £1.05 billion gross assets and the transfer of undrawn commitments of £220 million to a fund financed by Coller International Partners VI for a cash of £1.03 billion. The portfolio generated losses of £40 million in 2011.
The sale proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes and lower risks on its assets and focus on its core group of activities.
Gainers & Losers
Balfour Beatty plc rose 2.1% to 300.70 pence after the integrated infrastructure services operator said first-half revenue, including share of joint ventures and associates, rose 6% to £5.54 billion from the year ago period. Profit for the period increased to £83 million from £69 million in the year ago period.
Carlsberg A/S rose 0.9% to DKK 534 after the brewer reported second quarter net revenue improved 5% to DKK 19.59 billion. Profit attributable to shareholders rose to DKK 3.36 billion from DKK 2.06 billion last year.
Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. PLC slumped 3.9% to 398 pence after the British diversified natural resources company reported first-half revenue decreased 19% to $3.25 billion from $4.01 billion a year ago. Pre-tax profit plunged 59% to $667 million from $1.63 billion last year.
Hennes & Mauritz AB dipped 0.2% to SEK 247.40 after the Swedish apparel retailer said its total sales for July, including VAT in local currencies, increased 11% compared to the same month the previous year. Sales in comparable units increased 2%.