Lunch Wrap

On FT Alphaville this morning,

- NYSE Euronext is conducting an inquiry into trading of ABN Amro securities in the run up to the bank’s March announcement of its deal with Barclays. As the pair, along with rival bidders led by Royal Bank of Scotland, await the outcome of the Dutch Supreme Court’s deliberations on the sale of LaSalle bank, the NYSE has turned its attention back four months to trading in ABN’s American depositary receipts in New York.

- The departing speech of the UK’s Financial Services Authority chief executive, John Tiner, last week might have been the perfect opportunity for him to “splash a little colour across the typically monotone regulatory waterfront he has patrolled for the past six years”, writes Paul Murphy in the FT’s Insight column.

- Wow – here’s a great idea. Take an age-old truth, tack on the words “hedge fund manager” and dress it up as a well-thought out and heart-felt comment on the society we live in. The shock revelation here, supposedly exposed in a series of photo-shopped pictures entitled ‘Hedge Fund Girls’, is that some men can be sexist.

- What is a “trendy” trading floor and why should traders want them?, Paul Betts quite rightly ponders in the FT’s European View. They appear central to French plans to take on London as the world’s leading international financial centre. Christine Lagarde, the economy minister, has been urging French bankers who have moved elsewhere to return and enjoy the vibrant economy, a revitalised political agenda and, oh yes, the weather.

On FT.com this morning,

- Marks & Spencer confounded sceptics on Tuesday with a first-quarter trading performance that was better than the stock market expected. Like-for-like sales in its UK stores rose 2 per cent in the April-June period, faster than the 1 per cent increase analysts had expected, although a considerable slowdown from the 3.8 per cent recorded for the previous quarter. In early trading the shares, which have been weak in recent days, jumped 17p or 2.7 per cent to 649½p.

- Japan’s Nikkei share average slipped 0.1 per cent from Monday’s seven-year closing high due to profit taking in real estate, bank, utility and auto stocks. The Nikkei 225 ended at 18,252.67 and the broader Topix index closed down 0.2 per cent at 1789.20.

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