European stocks dip as oil resumes march (AFP)

Friday, May 23rd, 2008 | Finance News

LONDON (AFP) -
Europe's main stock markets fell on Friday as rebounding oil prices weighed on the auto and aviation sectors, while miners slid on profit-taking, traders said.

London's FTSE 100 index of leading shares dropped 0.33 percent to 6,160.90 points in late morning trade.

Frankfurt's DAX 30 slid 0.29 percent to 7,049.48 points and in Paris the CAC 40 index slumped 1.08 percent to 4,974.62 nearing the half-way mark.

The European single currency stood at 1.5720 dollars.

Crude oil prices jumped higher on Friday to trade above 132 dollars a barrel, about three dollars away from record highs reached this week on concerns that supplies will not meet demand, traders said.

Wall Street had scored slender gains on Thursday as the stock market calmed after a two-day plunge amid record-breaking oil, which reached an all-time high of 135.14 dollars a barrel on Thursday.

Japanese shares closed narrowly mixed on Friday as investors turned cautious ahead of the weekend, amid ongoing jitters about the outlook for the US economy and world energy prices, dealers said.

"Oil has been influencing the market all week," said a Paris-based trader who requested anonymity. French carmaker Renault saw its share price crash 2.44 percent lower to 63.58 euros on Friday.

Plane-carriers also took a hit, as Deutsche Lufthansa dived 1.52 percent to 15.60 euros in Frankfurt trading.

In London, miners dulled as investors banked their profits after recent strong gains won on the back of surging metals prices.

Rio Tinto shed 3.52 percent to 6,434 pence and BHP Billiton lost 3.03 percent to 2,046 pence, heading into midday trade.

German stock market operator Deutsche Boerse and Chinese market Shenzhen Stock Exchange meanwhile signed on Friday an outline deal to share product information.

The memorandum covered product development, product distribution and sale of trading data, it said.

Deutsche Boerse also planned to open an office in Beijing, it added, without disclosing financial terms.

The agreement would expand Deutsche Boerse's activities in China, which to date have consisted mainly of organising road shows and initial public offering (IPO) conferences, it added.

Seven Chinese companies have obtained a listing on the Frankfurt exchange meanwhile as part of their initial public offering last year.

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