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Jul 18, 2014

European Markets at Close Report - July 18, 2014: European stocks fall; RBS, Volvo among decliners Russia’s MICEX slides after renewed tensions with Ukraine.

By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch
LONDON (MarketWatch) — European stock markets traded broadly lower on Friday, spurred by geopolitical concerns after a Malaysia Airlines jet was shot down over Ukraine and Israel sent ground troops into Gaza.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index XX:SXXP -0.09%  lost 0.2% to 338.92, adding to a 0.9% decline from Thursday. On the week, the benchmark was on track for a 0.6% advance.
Russia’s MICEX index  dropped 2% to 1,412.11, on track for a fifth straight day in the red. Read: Russian stocks slide after MH17 crash
The losses came after a Malaysia Airlines MY:MAS -11.11%  passenger jet en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam was downed over eastern Ukraine by a surface-to-air missile on Thursday, killing all everyone on board. Both Ukraine and Russia deny responsibility and blame each other for the tragedy.
U.S. intelligence agencies were divided over whether the missile was launched by the Russian military or the militants, but an official said “all roads lead to the Russians to some degree.”
Russia's MICEX index slides for a fifth straight day
Pro-Russian separatists claimed on Thursday they had retrieved the black box from the crash site and said evidence of the incident would be sent to Moscow for examination. On Friday, an international emergency crew at the site recovered a second flight recorder from the plane, according to media reports.
“It’s going to be a nervous time ahead while we await further developments, but this feels like a big geopolitical blow for financial markets,” analysts at Deutsche Bank said in a note.
Also on Thursday, after the European markets closed, Israeli military forces launched a ground offensive in the Gaza Strip aimed at crushing Hamas militants.

Europe movers

The geopolitical jitters weighed on the majority of Europe’s country-specific indexes. Germany’s DAX 30 index DX:DAX -0.51%  gave up 0.6% to 9,696.06, although France’s CAC 40 index FR:PX1 +0.36%  was slightly higher at 4,317.85. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 indexUK:UKX +0.08%  lost 0.1% to 6,734.01.
Banks were in focus in London after the U.K. antitrust authority said there should be an in-depth investigations into the competition in the country’s banking market. The U.K retail and business banking is dominated by four banks: Lloyds Banking Group PLCUK:LLOY +0.23%   LYG +0.80% , down 0.3%, Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLCUK:RBS -1.48%   RBS -0.46% , off 1.6%, HSBC Holdings PLC UK:HSBA -0.20%   HSBC +0.08%  HK:0005 -0.56% , flat, and Barclays PLC UK:BARC +0.52%   BCS +1.04% , 0.2% higher.

Elsewhere, Volvo AB shares SE:VOLVB -5.42%  slumped 5.4% after the Swedish truck maker said European demand isn’t recovering as fast as expected and that order intake dropped 6% in the second quarter.
Most airline sharesx declined in the wake of the MH17 crash, with Air France-KLM SA FR:AF -.00%  down 1.2%, Deutsche Lufthansa AG DE:LHA -1.50%  1.3% lower and easyJet PLC UK:EZJ +0.22%  off 0.2%.
Daimler AG DE:DAI -1.90%  gave up 2.3% after Credit Suisse downgraded the German car maker to neutral from outperform.
Shares of LM Ericsson Telefon ABSE:ERICB +8.18%  jumped 8.2% after themobile-network company reportedsecond-quarter earnings that beat expectations.
Shares of Shire PLC UK:SHP +3.97%  climbed 3.2% after U.S. drug maker AbbVie Inc.ABBV +2.00%  confirmed it will buy the Irish pharmaceutical firm in a deal valued at $54 billion.

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Sara Sjolin is a MarketWatch reporter based in London. Follow her on Twitter@sarasjolin.

GATA | THE GATA DISPATCH - July 18, 2014: Alasdair Macleod: BIS seems to be edging away from dollar and toward gold.

Alasdair Macleod: BIS seems to be edging away from dollar and toward gold

 Friday, July 18, 2014. 
 ET Friday, July 18, 2014
A recent interview with the general manager of the Bank for International Settlements, Jaime Caruana, suggests that the bank is edging away from Keynesianism, monetarism, and the U.S. dollar and becoming more partial to gold as the base of the international monetary order, GoldMoney research director Alasdair Macleod writes today.
"Even though central bankers in the political firing line only know expansionary monetary policies," Macleod writes, "it is clear that influential opinion in many quarters is building against them. It is too early to talk of a new monetary regime, but not too early to talk of the current one's demise."
Macleod's commentary is titled "Monetary Discord" and it's posted at GoldMoney here:
CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.

Bits | The Business of Technology - July 18, 2014: Google's Earnings Highlight Its Struggle With Mobile Advertising

Friday, July 18, 2014
For the latest updates, go to »
Morning Report

Google's Earnings Highlight Its Struggle With Mobile Advertising | In the court of Internet advertising, sometimes it's hard to be the king, Mike Isaac reports.
Long the reigning champion of online search advertising, Google faces a persistent headache: Consumers are increasingly moving from desktop computers to smartphones and tablets, where the desktop advertising formats of old are not as alluring because of the screen-size restrictions of mobile. And as mobile ads increasingly become a larger part of its business, Google is less able to charge the same premiums that it has for its lucrative desktop ad business.
Thursday's earnings release for the second quarter, which ended in June, provided more evidence of this problem. The price that advertisers pay each time someone clicks on an ad - or "cost per click," in Google talk - dropped 6 percent from the year-ago quarter, largely because of the shift to increased mobile advertising. That is in line with Google's two-year trend of declining ad prices. Google does not, however, break out mobile ad revenue from desktop ad revenue.
"The revenue opportunity is very, very high, but right now mobile does not monetize as well as other forms," Nikesh Arora, Google's chief business officer, said on a conference call with analysts. Read more »
More From The Times
Workers on Thursday leaving Microsoft offices in Finland, where 1,100 of the up to 18,000 jobs will be eliminated.
Microsoft to Lay Off Thousands, Most From Nokia Unit |The company said about 14 percent of its work force would be eliminated, largely in the mobile phone business it acquired from Nokia.
More than two thirds of the up to 18,000 jobs that Microsoft said it would cut will come from Nokia groups, or from overlap at Microsoft resulting from the deal.
Finnish Pride Takes Another Blow From Microsoft Job Cuts | Microsoft said that roughly 1,100 layoffs, or 6 percent of the total job cuts, would come from Finland, primarily from a manufacturing plant in the north of the country.
IBM, according to Virginia M. Rometty, its chief executive, has jettisoned less profitable business and made major commitments in new fields - like technology to help customers find insights in today's flood of digital data.
IBM in Tug of War Between Legacy and the Leading Edge| The technology stalwart is investing in profitable new technologies but struggling to make money from its core businesses.
CardSpring advertises itself as a company that makes it easy for developers to link digital applications to credit or debit cards.
Coming Soon to Social Media: Click to Buy Now | Twitter and Facebook, which are fighting for the attention of social media users and advertisers, both announced baby steps into the world of e-commerce on Thursday.
Susan L. Wagner co-founded BlackRock, an investment company that now manages over $4.3 trillion.
Apple Adds Susan Wagner of BlackRock to Board | Ms. Wagner will be the only board member from a company focusing on finance. Apple's longest-serving director, Bill Campbell, will be retiring, the company said.
Alibaba's I.P.O. is one of the most anticipated stock offerings in recent years.
Alibaba Said to Have Pushed Its I.P.O. Back to September| In order for the company to hit its intended pricing date ofAug. 6 and begin trading the next day, it would have had to begin its global road show to investors sometime next week.
Meg Whitman has been Hewlett-Packard's chef executive since 2011.
Now It's Really Meg Whitman's H.P. | Meg Whitman, the chief executive of Hewlett-Packard, was named chairwoman of its board Thursday, illustrating the company's transformation to a place of professional managers.
Yes, I'm Direct. But You Should Be, Too. | The chief executive of Marketo, which makes marketing automation software, says he appreciates employees who are assertive.
Best of Scuttlebot  News from the Web, annotated by our staff
Outgoing Apple Board Member on Coaching Tech Leaders | FORTUNE
Bill Campbell, the one-time Apple executive, reflects on his time with the company and its co-founder, Steve Jobs. - Ashwin Seshagiri
For more Scuttlebot, follow @nytimesbits »

Reuters | Deals Today - July 18, 2014: Murdoch's tenacity is the trade in Time Warner-Fox face-off

Reuters Election 2012 Daily round-up of the day's top news from the campaign trail, the White House and all the politics in between
Murdoch's tenacity is the trade in Time Warner-Fox face-off
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Many investors say the best trading strategy around a potential takeover of Time Warner Inc by Twenty-First Century Fox is to wager that media baron Rupert Murdoch will pay up to get what he wants. The trick is that it may be too late to place the obvious bets.
Murdoch is pouncing on Time Warner while rivals are distracted
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Rupert Murdoch looks to have been canny in his $80 billion takeover approach to Time Warner Inc, cornering the media giant at a time when potential "white knight" bidders are busy absorbing their own large deals.
CBS CEO says he will look at CNN if it goes up for sale
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - CBS Corp Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves said on Thursday the media company would take a look at Time Warner Inc's cable news network CNN if it goes up for sale as part of a merger with Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox Inc.
MTR Corp wins 1.4 billion pounds deal to run London's Crossrail
LONDON (Reuters) - Transport for London (TfL) said on Friday it had awarded a 1.4 billion pound ($2.4 billion) contract to run Britain's Crossrail rail service to MTR Corporation, the Hong Kong Metro operator.
General Atlantic in talks to buy stakes in India's Just Dial, Info Edge: sources
MUMBAI (Reuters) - U.S. private equity firm General Atlantic is in talks to buy a 2 to 5 percent stake each in India's Just Dial Ltd and Info Edge India Ltd, two sources with direct knowledge of the discussions said on Friday.
Liberty Global buys stake in UK broadcaster ITV
LONDON (Reuters) - U.S.-based cable group Liberty Global has bought BSkyB's 6.4 percent stake in ITV , Britain's biggest free-to-air commercial broadcaster, boosting its shares on hopes of a wider bid.
UK's Co-op agrees 620 million pounds pharmacy sale to Bestway
LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Co-operative Group has agreed to sell its pharmacy business to the privately owned Bestway Group for 620 million pounds ($1.06 billion), providing funds for it to cut debt and invest in its core businesses, it said on Friday.
Exclusive: KKR names Sarnoff head of Americas media and telecoms team
NEW YORK (Reuters) - KKR & Co said on Thursday that Richard Sarnoff, a former senior executive at European media conglomerate Bertelsmann SE & Co KGaA, would succeed Alexander Navab as head of its Americas media and telecommunications industry team.
Exclusive: Organizer of largest U.S. fashion trade show explores sale - sources
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Privately held U.S. event marketing company Advanstar, which puts on trade shows in industries such as fashion and healthcare, is exploring a sale that could fetch more than $900 million, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
ECB's Weidmann cites litany of long-term dangers from loose monetary policy
MADRID (Reuters) - European Central Bank policymaker Jens Weidmann said on Friday that loose monetary policy had "done its bit" to maintain price stability in the