European stocks inched higher early Wednesday, tracking gains in Asian bourses ahead of the Federal Reserve`s final policy decision of the year. Will the US central bank begin tapering its $85 billion asset purchases or not? Market Participants have been pondering for an answer to that question that is too close to call at this Federal Open Market Committee, while sentiment continues to be cautious with investors mostly holding grounds before the Fed`s policy outcome as anticipation runs high! As of 04:33 a.m. EST , the Stoxx Europe 600 added 0.70% to 313.48, rebounding from yesterday's slide as all ten groups on the benchmark gains, led by shares of health care, consumer goods and technology, respectively. - Britain`s FTSE 100 was 0.31% at 6,506.02 - France`s CAC 40 was up 0.44% at 4,086.44 - Germany`s DAX 30 was up 0.64% at 9,142.90 - Italy`s FTSE MIB was up 0.80% at 18,067.90 On the economic front, the German-based Ifo institute released December surveys showing that German business confidence rose for a second month, adding to signs the recovery is adding steam in Europe's largest economy. The Ifo business climate index rose to 109.5 this month from 109.3 in November, in line with analysts' average forecast. German confidence data comes on the heels of news politicians elected Chancellor Angela Merkel to a a third term as the leader of Europe's biggest economy, nearly after three months after an awkward election result forced her to put together a new governing coalition. Ms. Merkel won 462 votes to 150 with nine abstentions. Now she leads"grand coalition" of Germany's biggest parties – her conservative Union bloc and the center-left Social Democrats. In the UK , jobs data continue to impress with the ILO unemployment rate falling further to four-an-a-half-year low on October, to 7.4% from 7.6%, beating median forecast calling for no change. The jobless claims also fell in November to -36.7 thousand from revised -42.8 thousand, beating -35.0 thousand expected as well. The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee said in its minutes of its December 4-5 meeting that Britain's economic recovery may be at risk if the sterling strengthens much further – a its first significant hint of concern about the British currency's recent rise. The nine-member policy panel was unanimous on voting to keep the benchmark interest steady at 0.5% and to leave the bank's 375 billion pound size of asset purchases unchanged. The European calendar sounded quite busy today but the consensus major concern remains the US central Bank's looming policy decision, as expectations run high for an early slash in size of the bank's most controversial bond buying program. Moreover, we might be watching changes to policy guidance which could twist expectations as much as a change in asset purchases, so stay tuned equity junkies!
Most Popular Stories
- Crimean Referendum Violates International Law: Obama
- Florida Insurers Reach Out to Hispanics
- Where Are the World's Most Expensive Cities?
- BP Tripled CEO's Pay Despite Deepwater Horizon
- House OKs $1 Billion for Ukraine
- EU Breaks Off Talks With Russia
- Putin Gets Thumbs-up From Assad
- 2 Million Long-term Jobless Have No Benefits
- Nakamoto 'No Longer Involved' in Bitcoin
- Cuba Accepts Invite for Talks With EU