PARIS (Alliance News) - The European markets are in positive territory on Thursday, ahead of the key interest rate decision from the European Central Bank and the all important US jobs report for June due to be released later in the day.
The European Central Bank will announce its monetary policy decision at 7:45 am ET. The bank is expected to maintain its deposit rate at -0.10% and its refinancing rate at record low of 0.15%.
Meanwhile, Eurozone retail sales remained unchanged from the previous month in May, figures from Eurostat showed. Retail sales were flat monthly, following a 0.2% decline in April, revised from a 0.4% gain reported earlier. Economists had forecast 0.3% sales growth for May.
The euro area private sector growth eased for the second consecutive month in June as estimated to its lowest in the year so far, survey data from Markit Economics showed.
China's services sector grew at a faster pace in June, posting an index score of 53.1 and touching a 15-month high compared to 50.7 in May, the latest survey from HSBC and Markit Economics revealed.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is adding 0.61%, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major UK companies, is gaining 0.56%.
The German DAX, the French CAC 40, the UK'sFTSE 100 and Switzerland's SMI are rising between 0.5% and 0.7%.
In Frankfurt, K+S is gaining close to 3%. The potash maker will focus on increasing sales from higher-margin fertilizers which contain magnesium and sulfur, its Chief Executive Officer Norbert Steiner said.
RWE is gaining 2% and Deutsche Post is climbing 1.4%.
Goldman Sachs cut Bilfinger to ''Neutral'' from ''Buy.'' The stock is down 1.1%.
In Paris, Ingenico, a producer of financial transaction systems, is gaining more than 7%. The payment-terminals maker said it entered exclusive negotiations for the acquisition of 100% of the share capital of GlobalCollect from its existing shareholders led by Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe for an enterprise value of 820 million euros.
Cap Gemini is advancing 1.8% and Saint Gobain is adding 1.2%.
Renault is rising 1.3% and Peugeot is gaining 1.6%.
Technip, Sanofi, Axa and Orange are seeing notable gains.
In London, Antofagasta is adding 4%. Fresnillo and Anglo American are rising 2.1% and 1.8%, respectively. HSBC initiated Fresnillo with ''Overweight.''
Sports Direct is climbing 3.6% and Weir Group is up 2%.
MJ Gleeson, which issued a trading update, is gaining close to 6%.
Balfour Beatty dropped over 10% after the infrastructure services company said it saw further deterioration in trading performance of mechanical and electrical engineering, which is part of its UK construction business.
Chocolate maker Barry Callebaut is losing 2.3% in Zurich. The company reported increased sales and volumes for the first nine months of the year.
The Asian stocks swung between gains and losses as investors remained cautious ahead of a European Central Bank meeting and the US non-farm payrolls report.
In the US, futures point to a higher open on Wall Street. In the previous session, stocks ended narrowly mixed showing little change, though the Dow and the S&P 500 set fresh record closing highs as investors digested a positive reading on private sector employment.
Crude for August delivery is falling USD0.61 to USD103.87 per barrel, while gold is losing USD8.5 to USD1322.4 a troy ounce.