News Column

European Stocks Seen Slightly Higher

June 26, 2014



VIENNA (Alliance News) - European stocks are seen opening slightly higher on Friday after the US markets narrowed losses in final hours of trading to end on a flat note Thursday.

The Asian markets, however, are trading mostly lower, following hawkish comments from a Fed official that interest rate increases should come sooner rather than later. Investors are pondering the outlook for the world's largest economy following a recent spate of data painting a mixture picture of the economy.

The US economic calendar remains relatively quiet today, with investors awaiting a revised report from Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan on consumer sentiment for further direction.

Closer home, UK house prices rose at the slowest pace in five months in June, as an intense debate about a possible housing bubble and widespread calls for government intervention to cool price increases weakened consumer demand, a survey by Hometrack showed. House prices rose 0.3% from the previous month in June, down from the 0.5% increase rise in May and marking the slowest growth in prices since January 2014.

Another report from Gfk showed that British consumer morale rose to its highest level in nine years. The consumer confidence index rose to +1, up from 0 in May.

The number of registered unemployed in France rose to a new record high in May, data from the labor ministry revealed. Registered job seekers rose by 0.7% or 24,800 from April to 3.38 million, the highest on record.

UK GDP and current account data for the first quarter as well as the European Commission's report on Eurozone economic sentiment are slated for release later in the European session.

In corporate news, Atos SE's subsidiary Worldline, a provider of electronic payment and transactional services, said it has raised around 575 million euros, consisting of a capital increase of about 255 million euros and the sale of approximately 320 million euros of existing shares by Atos, through its initial public offering that was well received by French and international investors.

The major European markets drifted lower on Thursday after St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard said the US economy is improving enough to withstand an increase in short-term interest rates at the end of the first three months of 2015. The German DAX dropped 0.6% and France's CAC 40 slid half a percent, while the FTSE of the UK ended virtually unchanged.

US stocks edged down but closed well off their day's lows to end almost on a flat note overnight, as investors digested mixed personal spending and initial jobless claims data and disappointing corporate earnings news. Investors also digested comments from a top Federal Reserve official that interest rates may rise sooner than anticipated.



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Source: Alliance News


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