Europe Markets

European Stocks Close Lower, Technology Weighs

European indexes finished in negative territory Monday as SAP's acquisition of Business Objects led the technology sector lower and basic-resource stocks dipped on falling commodity prices.

The Paris CAC-40 Frankfurt DAX and London's FTSE-100 all closed lower. Nymex oil futures dipped below $81 a barrel, while the dollar gained slightly against the euro.

In Germany software maker SAP tumbled 4.6% after announcing Sunday it will buyBusiness Objects for $6.8 billion in cash. There are concerns that SAP was forced to abandon it strategy of organic growth due to rival Oracle's aggressive acquisition policy. Shares of Business Objects surged 14.5%, meanwhile.

Chemical stocks were among the strongest performers of the day after Akzo Nobel said it would $4.23 billion to shareholders under a new dividend scheme.

In London shares of embattled mortgage lender Northern Rock finished nearly 9% higher after the Wall Street Journal reported that private equity firms Blackstone Group and Apollo Management expressed interest in buying the company.

And pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline named Andrew Witty, its European president, to succeed its current CEO. Shares of the company closed 1% lower.