European and Asian markets end mixed
FRANKFURT, Germany » European stock markets edged higher yesterday but key Asian markets fell amid worries about high oil prices and the U.S. economy on a day when the U.S. and British markets were closed for a holiday.
In Germany, the DAX rose 0.14 percent to close at 6,953.84 with Merck KGaA, the producer of drugs and crystals used in liquid crystal displays, rising more than 2 percent and Hype Real Estate AG up nearly 2 percent.
Automobile stocks like Daimler AG, BMW AG and Volkswagen AG posted declines after crude oil prices rose. The July contract for light sweet crude was up 94 cents to $133.13 a barrel in electronic trading by late afternoon in Europe.
In France, the CAC-40 rose 0.08 percent to close at 4,937.84.
There was no floor session on the New York Mercantile Exchange due to the Memorial Day holiday. Both the New York and London stock exchanges were closed for a holiday.
In Tokyo, the benchmark Nikkei 225 index dropped 2.3 percent to 13,690.19.
"What underlined selling was ongoing concern over inflation as oil prices still remained very high," said Kazuhiro Takahashi, general manager at Daiwa Securities SMBC Co. in Tokyo.
Sony Corp. fell 2.6 percent to 4,910 yen. Electronics maker Kyocera Corp. lost 2.1 percent to 9,720 yen.
Japan's top automaker, Toyota Motor Corp., declined 2.5 percent to 5,010 yen, and its rival Honda Motor Co. dropped 3.3 percent to 3,230 yen.
Hong Kong shares were dragged down by a plunge in China Mobile, the mainland's largest mobile service provider, on worries about increased competition after China announced that it was restructuring its telecommunications sector. The blue-chip Hang Seng Index fell 2.4 percent to 24,127.31.
China Mobile shares tumbled 8.2 percent. China's three other Hong Kong-listed telecom operators -- China Unicom, China Netcom and China Telecom -- are also involved in the restructuring, but remained suspended from trading yesterday.
On the Chinese mainland, the Shanghai benchmark index fell to a one-month low on renewed worries over further monetary tightening. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 108.55 points, or 3.1 percent, to 3,364.54, the lowest since April 23.
Financial shares were among the worst hit, with Haitong Securities plunging by the daily 10 percent limit and Industrial & Commercial Bank of China sinking 3 percent.