European shares head for weak 2007 finish

Filed on December 31, 2007

LONDON - Europe’s main stock markets fell in thin trade on Monday—the final dealing day of a year in which gains for equities have been curtailed by worries about the troubled US economy.

London’s FTSE 100 index was down 0.31 percent to 6,456.90 points ahead of its 1230 GMT finish. The Paris CAC 40, which was to shut at 1300 GMT because of New Year festivities, lost 0.25 percent to 5,613.28 points.

Frankfurt, which was shut on Monday, ended 2007 on a high, posting a gain of 0.36 percent to 8,067.32 points last Friday.

Wall Street had closed almost unchanged ahead of the weekend after an unexpectedly sharp drop in new home sales renewed worries about the impact of the persistent housing slump on the US economy, dealers said.

In Asia on Monday, Pakistan’s Karachi Stock Exchange shed 4.7 percent during morning trade in the wake of last week’s assassination of the country’s opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.

Many other Asian markets were closed but those open mostly posted gains.

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