Europe Shares Steady, Thyssenkrupp Rallies

German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp rallied 3.6 percent, featuring among the top raisers across Europe, after activist investor Cevian raised its stake in the company to 5.2 percent and said it could buy more. Nordic lender Nordea featured among the top losers, sliding 3.1 percent after the Swedish government said it had sold its remaining 7 percent stake in the bank for 76 Swedish crowns per share, a 4 percent discount to Nordea’s closing price of 79.2 crowns on Tuesday. At 1000 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.01 percent at 1,258.33 points. The index has slipped about 1.3 percent since hitting a five-year high last week. The euro zone’s blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index was up 0.04 percent, at 2,924.22 points. Investors remained on edge as congressional authorisation for the U.S. government to spend money runs out at the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, and a small number of Tea Party-backed U.S. senators have been threatening to stall a bill to renew the funding. The market has also been fretting about next month’s negotiations in Washington to raise the federal debt ceiling to prevent a default, as well as the outlook for the Federal Reserve’s stimulus measures after the Fed decided not to scale back the measures last week. “Investors are still confused about the Fed’s monetary policy, and now the focus is switching to negotiations between Democrats and Republicans in Washington. After such a rally, people are now very cautious,” said Guillaume Dumans, co-head of research firm 2Bremans. The Fed’s quantitative easing programme has been a major factor behind the global equity market rally of the past year, which has propelled European shares to a 12-month forward price-to-earnings ratio of 13, a level not seen since October 2009, according to Thomson Reuters Datastream. The broad STOXX Europe 600 is up about 5 percent so far this month, on track to post its best monthly performance in two years, and its best month of September since 1997. The sharp rise in the valuation ratio, however, suggests that the equity rally has been more about excess liquidity in the financial markets than underlying company profit growth.

Europe a new breeding ground for rare animals: Study

Moreover, Italy is expected to remain the fastest growing market in Western Europe. Cross-border B2C E-Commerce is popular in Spain; consumers there shop online from overseas websites and Spanish online shops sell abroad. In Central Europe Germany shows double-digit growth in B2C E-Commerce. In Germany, B2C E-Commerce sales reached several tens of billions of euros in 2012 and showed double digit growth over 2011. As a share of total retail sales, B2C E-Commerce accounted for several percentage points less than 10% in 2012, and the share is expected to increase by one percentage point in 2013. The most used payment methods for online shopping in Germany are invoice and PayPal, a contrast with many other European E-Commerce markets where bank cards are the most popular payment method. US based mass-merchant Amazon is the largest E-Commerce player, while the Germany based Otto Group continues expansion into domestic as well as international B2C E-Commerce. German online retailers benefit from popularity with shoppers in neighboring Austria. Eastern Europe sees higher rate of growth in online sales. B2C E-Commerce in Russia grew by over a quarter in 2012, reaching a double digit figure in billions of euros. Further expansion in the online retail market is expected. Some product categories, such as household goods, cosmetics and auto parts have shown recent growth of over 50%. The clothing segment, including such players as Lamoda and Kupivip, has attracted large investments from overseas as well as domestic investors. The largest online retailer, mass merchant Ozon, increased its sales by a high double digit figure above 50%.

Europe’s bison, beavers and bears bounce back

The Iberian lynx was the only mammal among those studied to have declined in numbers, the rest of which increased their distribution range in Europe by about 30 percent overall since the mid 20th century, the report said. All of the 19 bird species measured showed recovery. European grey wolves pictured in the Sainte-Croix animal park in Rhodes, eastern France on December “Wildlife will bounce back if we allow it to — this report shows that,” said Frans Schepers, managing director of conservation body Rewilding Europe which commissioned the analysis. “With continued and strong legal protection, active boosting of existing wildlife populations and reintroductions to bring back lost species… many more species will surely follow.” The report was compiled by the Zoological Society of London, BirdLife International and the European Bird Census Council, with contributions from scientists from around Europe. Europe has a total of 219 land mammal and 530 bird types. The European bison has recovered to a population of almost 3,000 after going extinct in the wild in the 1900s, said a statement on the report. A brown bear yawns at the Dancing Bears Reserve near the town of Belitsa in Bulgaria’s Rila mountain Decimated by hunters and the loss of their habitat, the bison bounced back thanks to a large-scale breeding programme of the last survivors in captivity, whose offspring were reintroduced to the wild in areas of central and eastern Europe. The White-tailed eagle has also seen a reversal in its fortunes, the statement said — its numbers soared from fewer than 2,500 pairs in 1970 to 9,600 pairs by 2010. Many of Europe’s species reached an all-time low in the 1950s and 1960s following a long history of indiscriminate hunting, poaching and poisoning, as well as habitat loss to agriculture, grazing, pollution and logging. While hailing the outcome of conservation efforts for some species, the report warns that biodiversity as a whole remained on a downward slide.

Europe B2C E-Commerce Report 2013

Photo Jaume Plensa’s “Tel Aviv Man” at Art Basel, the worlds premier trade fair for leading galleries and collectors focused on modern and contemporary art. – [/] Photo The front of the Art Basel building. This years show attracted 303 of the worlds top galleries from 36 countries, showing the works of more than 2,500 artists. It drew more than 62,000 visitors, a new record. – [/] Photo Platform Gallery’s Chen Wei and one of his “Recovery Room” series at Liste Young Artist’s show. By the time the week was over he had sold more than 10 works, with prices ranging from $1,800 to nearly $3,000. – [/] A performance spectator admires some of the pieces at Basel Art. – [/] Photo A performance piece at Basel Scope, done by an unidentified nearly naked man who moved in slow motion up and down the aisles dressed like a Greek version of Mars, the god of war. – [/] Photo A performance piece at Scope. The man clutched a staff, on which a plastic container for motor oil with the BP logo was impaled. – [/] An installation piece at Basel Art. – [/] An installation piece with paper tubes at Basel Art. – [/] A gallery scene at the Scope Basel show. – [/] A sculpture of Sperone Westwater Gallery’s employee, Michael Short, by Evan Penny. – [/] Evan Penny’s sculpture of Michael Short.