By and  on February 16, 2010

European markets picked up some steam Monday as concerns about Greece’s credit woes remained in check.

London’s FTSE 100 rose 25.02 points, or 0.5 percent, to 5,167.47 and the CAC 40 in Paris gained 10.15 points, or 0.3 percent, to finish Monday’s trading session at 3,609.22. Germany’s DAX managed to gain 10.71 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 5,511.10.

With markets in the U.S. closed for Presidents’ Day and in China for the lunar new year, trading volume was generally low.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 slid 78.89 points, or 0.8 percent, to land at 10,013.30. Last week, it closed below the 10,000 mark on three of four trading days, its first visits to four-digit territory this year. Despite ongoing problems at Toyota Motor Corp. and the insolvency of Japan Airlines, Japan’s gross domestic product grew at an annualized rate of 4.6 percent last year, its government said.

However, investor enthusiasm was limited by a statement by Hirofumi Hirano, chief cabinet secretary, that the country’s economy and “its trend remain severe and to this end, quickly implementing measures to be funded by the budget are needed to help prevent the weak economy from sinking into a double-dip recession.”

In the U.S., Zale Corp. on Monday confirmed reports it eliminated 60 jobs at its corporate headquarters in Irving, Tex., last week, lowering the head count there to about 800.

The specialty jeweler employs about 11,200 people in the U.S. Last week, the company hired Peter J. Solomon Co. to serve as its financial adviser following a management shake-up in January in which Theo Killion, president, succeeded Neal Goldberg as chief executive officer on an interim basis.

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