LONDON – European stock markets made modest gains in mid-morning trading on Monday, with the DAX in Frankfurt leading the way.
The German market was up 0.6 percent to 10,397.29, followed by the FTSE MIB in Milan, 0.4 percent to 16,921.76, and the FTSE 100 in London, 0.2 percent to 6,739.47. The CAC 40 in Paris climbed 0.1 percent to 4,445.84.
The euro traded at $1.12, while the pound fetched $1.32 and the Swiss franc equaled $1.03 at 10:30 a.m. CET.
Retail and luxury stocks were mostly up, with the morning’s biggest gainers including Primark’s parent, Associated British Foods, up 3 percent to 27.71 pounds; Kering, 1.9 percent to 173.10 euros; Asos.com, 1.2 percent to 45.58 pounds; and high street retailer French Connection Group, 1.9 percent to 0.41 pounds.
Over the weekend, the Financial Times reported that one of French Connection’s institutional investors, the U.S. hedge fund Gatemore Capital Management, is demanding a raft of management, brand and organizational changes to help the loss-making brand recover in an increasingly challenging environment.
French Connection released a statement in response.
“While we agree that the performance of the group needs to improve and we are working to deliver a strategic plan to do this, we disagree with many of the assertions contained within these (shareholder) communications,” it said.
Among the stocks that fell were Tesco, down 1.2 percent to 1.54 pounds; Italia Independent Group, 4.8 percent to 6.13 euros; Geox, 1.6 percent to 2.54 euros; Mulberry Group, 2.1 percent to 10.77 pounds; and Koovs.com, 25.5 percent to 0.46 pounds.
On Friday, Koovs reported that pre-tax losses for the year to March 31 widened, while revenues more than doubled at the fast-fashion retailer that caters to the young Indian market.