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@ 6:45 EDT:

** ASIAN MARKETS **

Nikkei 1.97%; Kospi 0.26%; HSI -0.26%; Taiwan 0,48%; China -0.71%; India -2.31%; Thailand -1.8%; Australia 0,5%

** ASIAN HEADLINES **

- Bank of China Raises $9.73 Billion in Biggest IPO for 6 Years, Bankers Say
- Asian Stocks Decline, Led by Samsung Electronics and Hon Hai; BHP Advances
- Packer and Melco Plan $1 Billion Initial Public Offering for Macau Casino
- China’s Fuel-Price Increase Won’t Stem Oil Refining Losses, Sinopec Says
- Asian Currencies Fall as Indonesia Bird-Flu Probe Adds to Pandemic Concern
- ITC Fourth-Quarter Profit May Rise 33 Percent on Cigarette Sales, Hotels
- Bank of Japan Member Says Reserve Cut May Spur Interest Rate Speculation
- Pakistan Trade Deficit to Widen to `Around’ $10.5 Billion, Minister Says
- Copper in Shanghai Surges 4 Percent on Speculation Demand Exceeds Supply
- BHP, Rio Tinto Lead Rebound in Australian Stocks on Metal Price Increases

** EUROPEAN MARKETS **

DJ Stoxx 50 -1.46%
FTSE 100 -1.61%
DAX 30 -1.66%

Bund future 0,22%; Crude future 71,08; €/$ 1,2782; Gold 664,38

** EUROPE: IN PLAY TODAY **

- IFO Indicator is released in Germany at 10:00 CET

- BNP Paribas SA: Chief Executive Officer Baudouin Prot said the return on equity at France’s largest bank by market value is “very satisfying.'’ BNP Paribas reported on May 19 that its return on equity, a measure of profitability for banks, was 20 percent for the first quarter.

- Buhrmann NV: The world’s biggest office-supplies distributor agreed to buy Coastwide Laboratories Inc. for an undisclosed price to expand its Corporate Express unit in the U.S.

- Norsk Hydro ASA: Norway’s second-biggest oil company and India’ ONGC Videsh Ltd. will get a combined 60 percent stake of Repsol YPF SA’s (REP SM) exploration rights at six offshore blocks in Cuba. Repsol, Spain’s biggest oil producer, will trim its holding in the project to 40 percent, the Madrid-based company said after markets closed yesterday.

- OAO Lukoil: Russia’s biggest oil producer said fiscal fourth-quarter net income rose 33 percent from a year earlier to $1.6 billion, as it pumped more oil and the price of crude climbed to records. That beat the $1.5 billion median estimate of nine analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.

- OMV AG and Verbund: The two Austrian energy companies that announced plans to merge in a 13.1 billion-euro accord earlier this month, scrapped the deal because of mounting political opposition, the government said.

- Vodafone Group Plc: The world’s biggest mobile phone company may be active. Verizon Communications Inc., the No. 2 U.S. telephone company, won’t be buying Vodafone Group’s stake in Verizon Wireless anytime soon, Chief Financial Officer Doreen Toben said yesterday.

- Ahold reported 1Q sales of EU14.1 billion, analysts estimate EU14 billion. Ahold said US sales hurt as energy costs impact consumers.

- Earnings reports of note: EDP-Energias de Portugal, GUS, Kelda, Omega Pharma, Opap, Renewable Energy Corp, Scottish Power.

** EUROPE: UPS & DOWNS **

+ REPSOL RAISED TO `OVERWEIGHT’ AT MORGAN STANLEY
+ LOGITECH RAISED TO `BUY’ FROM `NEUTRAL’ AT UBS
+ OMV RAISED TO `HOLD’ FROM `SELL’ AT CITIGROUP
+ TNT PRICE ESTIMATE RAISED 13% TO EU34 AT CREDIT SUISSE
+ VEDIOR RAISED TO `OUTPERFORM’ VS `NEUTRAL’ AT CREDIT SUISSE

** US MARKETS ON TUESDAY **

Dow -0,24%; Nasdaq -0,65%; S&P -0,43%; Soxx -1,62%; Russel2k -0,55%; DJAIG 2,78%; 10yr Bond 0,24%; 10yr Yield 5,02%; Crude future 71,08; Gold 664,38

¦ Materials 0,15%¦ Telecom 0,1%¦ ConsStaples 0,07%¦ Energy 0,01%¦ Industrials -0,39%¦ Financials -0,46%¦ Healthcare -0,54%¦ ConsDisc -0,62%¦ Technology -0,83%¦ Utilities -1,45%

** US: HEADLINES **

- Dollar Rises in Asia Amid Concern Bird Flu May Be Spread by Human Contact
- Microsoft Adds Traffic Data, Site Collections to Map Service for Customers
- Crude Oil Falls on Speculation U.S. Gasoline Supplies Increased Last Week
- Bond Strategists: UBS Says 10-Year Treasuries to Extend Gain on Fed Policy
- Canadian Stocks Fall as Banks Slide Before Expected Interest-Rate Increase
- Bear Stearns Strategist Trahan Cuts 2006 S&P 500 Forecast by 11 Percent

** US: IN PLAY TODAY **

Investors will have April Durable Orders at 14:30 CET and New Home Sales at 16:00 ET to sift through. Also garnering some attention will be the Energy Dept.s weekly oil inventory report at 16:30 ET, especially with crude oil back above $71 a barrel fueling concerns heading into the summer driving season.

On the earnings front, retailers from the likes of AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) and Dollar Tree (NASDAQ:DLTR) to Payless Shoe (NYSE:PSS) and Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM) make up the bulk of reports. Notable names posting quarterly results after the close include Network Appliance (NASDAQ:NTAP), Petco (PETC) and TiVo (NASDAQ:TIVO).

Source: Japan's Strong, But Europe's Down