European Stocks Start Higher - Wall Street Journal European Stocks Start Higher - Wall Street Journal

Thursday, July 19, 2012

European Stocks Start Higher - Wall Street Journal

European Stocks Start Higher - Wall Street Journal

European stocks nudged higher on a number of forecast-beating results Thursday while the dollar was sold off against a number of major currencies as investors continue to expect that central banks will take the path of further easing to help boost flagging economies.

Meanwhile, the focus may shift back to the euro-zone's sovereign debt saga, with Spain conducting a critical bond auction Thursday.

Investors will be eyeing Spain as it taps the market with €2 billion to €3 billion of two-, five- and seven-year bond sales. Spanish government bond yields remained elevated ahead of the auction, with the 10-year yield up 0.03 percentage point at 6.94%. In addition, the German parliament will likely approve the financial program for Spanish banks Thursday ahead of the Eurogroup meeting on Friday.

In the European morning, the benchmark Stoxx 600 index was up 0.5%. A decent start to the European earnings season and well-received results from a number of U.S. blue-chip stocks have helped sentiment in recent days.

"The better earnings but weaker revenue trend continues," said Deutsche Bank. "Of the 25 S&P 500 companies that reported yesterday [Wednesday] the beat-to-miss ratio was 68%: 32% for earnings. The revenue beat-to-miss stat was weak at just 24%: 76%."

"It is too early to generalize but its certainly a trend worth watching closely from here. It might help explain why unemployment is stubbornly high if companies are seeing their earnings hold up better than revenues," it added.

In Europe, one of the biggest sector gainers was the chemicals sector, up 1.4% after specialty chemicals and paints company Akzo Nobel released well-received second-quarter results.

Meanwhile, Swedish home-appliance maker Electrolux AB posted a forecast-beating surge in net profit, driven by price increases in its North American market. And Sandvik was higher after the engineering company also reported a forecast-beating rise in second-quarter net profit. However, the company was cautious on the third quarter, particularly with regard to Europe.

On the downside, Kingfisher fell 2.3% in London. The company, which owns the B&Q home improvement chain, blamed the bad weather for falling demand for outdoor products as it reported a fall in same-store sales.

In the core of Europe, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 was up 0.2%, Germany's DAX was 0.6% higher and France's CAC-40 was up 0.4%.

Spain's IBEX 35 was 0.6% higher but Italy's FTSE Mib was flat. It was dragged lower by a fall in Telecom Italia shares. Telecom Italia fell after Brazil's telecommunications regulator Anatel suspended sales by three mobile-phone companies in some states because of the volume of customer complaints. This included TIM Participacoes, a unit of Telecom Italia.

On foreign exchanges, weakness could be seen in the dollar as the market was pricing in the possibility of another round of quantitative easing in the U.S.

This follows the second appearance of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke in front of Congress on Wednesday. He said the Federal Reserve would be ready to act to boost the U.S. economy, if and when necessary. Mr. Bernanke noted that the Fed was keeping a close eye on the U.S. jobs market.

In the European morning, the euro was at $1.2294 from $1.2284 late Wednesday in New York and against the yen, the dollar was at ¥78.61 from ¥78.79.

Oil climbed for the seventh straight session, putting it more than 15% higher than the year-to-date low it reached in late June. The August Nymex crude oil contract was up $0.69 at $90.56 a barrel and the September Brent oil contract was $0.96 higher at $106.12. Spot gold was at $1,581.50 per ounce, $7.90 higher. The September bund was down 0.20 at 145.14.

Write to Andrea Tryphonides at

Strong yen weighs on Japan stocks - BBC News

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

No comments: