News Column

European shares celebrate GDP data, Italian FTSE MIB caps losses

February 14, 2014

European shares edged modestly higher on Friday, after data showed slightly better-than-expected economic growth in Germany and France that overshadowed political fears in Italy and helped fuel expectations of positive results from the Eurozone. -  Stoxx 600  gained 0.7 percent, 0.22 points to  331.70 -  Stoxx 50  advanced 0.01 percent, 0.29 points to  2,914.57 Traders also look forward to fourth-quarter Gross Domestic Product data from the euro-area after data showed earlier on Friday the French GDP grew 0.3 percent in the final quarter of 2013, slightly beating expectations, and German economic growth unexpectedly accelerated to 0.4 percent, thanks to a rise in exports. Growth figures for the Eurozone as a whole will be closely watched today for signs on on further recovery in the Eurozone. Data due today is expected to show economy expanded at 0.2 percent in the final quarter of 2013 and 0.4 percent on the annual basis. - The British  FTSE 100  lost 0.04 percent to  6,656.49 - The French  CAC 40  gained 0.03 percent to  4,314.01 - Frankfurt's  DAX 30  rose 0.11 percent to  9,607.36 FTSE MIB Reverses Losses as Letta Resigns: Meanwhile, Italy`s FTSE MIB Index was one of the biggest gainers across Europe, as tensions eased over a new political impasse in Italy after Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta, whose weak coalition government has come under increasing criticism, announced on Thursday that he would resign.   However, Italian stocks will be in focus as investors keep a close eye on the latest political developments in Italy. Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta announced that he would formally submit his resignation to President Giorgio Napolitano today following the withdrawal of support for the coalition government by his own center-left Democratic Party (PD), paving the way for centre-left Matteo Renzi to form a new government. - Italian FTSE MIB rose 0.50 percent or 100.68 points to trade at 20,210.98 - Spanish IBEX 35 declined 0.23 percent, 22.80 points to 10,076.10 Global Markets: In other equity markets, shares were mixed in Asia on Friday with Japan`s benchmark index falling to a one-week low. The Nikkei average fell 1.5 percent as the yen jumped to a one-week high against the dollar. While the rest of the region gained following higher-than-expected Chinese inflation data. Chinese inflation was broadly in line with estimates, giving leeway for the central bank to loosen policy to kick-start a faster recovery. Across the atlantics, stocks climbed on Thursday in Wall Street, clearing initial losses, after better-than-expected earnings from companies such as Goodyear Tire & Rubber and CBS and Comcast Corp`s deal to buy Time Warner Cable Inc. Stocks were outweighed in early trading after disappointing retail sales and jobless claims data. Analysts blamed bad weather for an unexpected fall in retail sales in January and a rise in filings for jobless benefits last week.

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Source: Financial Markets

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