European Markets Mostly Higher Ahead Of Fed Rate Decision

European Markets Mostly Higher Ahead Of Fed Rate Decision

Riding on some upbeat corporate earnings reports, several markets in Europe are trading higher on Wednesday. Most of the markets in the region were closed yesterday for Labor Day holiday.

Traders, reacting to quarterly results, are awaiting the U.S. Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision and its outlook for future rate hikes for further direction.

The Federal Reserve, due to release its monetary policy soon, is widely expected to hold its benchmark rate unchanged. The Fed’s statement about outlook for future rate hikes is keenly awaited by markets across the globe. Many believe there will be two or three rate hikes during the course of the year.

Among the major markets in Europe, U.K. is heading towards another positive close. After recording gains in four successive sessions, the FTSE 100 index is currently up 28 points or 0.37 percent at 7548.36.

Capita is rising 5.8 percent. Glencore, Fresnillo, Antofagasta, Tui, BHP Billiton, CRH, Rio Tinto, Ashtead Group, DCC and Babcock International are gaining 2 to 3.4 percent.

Germany’s DAX is up 162 points or 1.3 percent at 12,774.12, with technology and financial stocks recording notable gains.

Infineon Technologies is up nearly 4 percent. Deutsche Boerse, Volkswagen, Linde, Continental AG, Lufthansa, Fresenius, Siemens, Covestro, Daimler, Thyssenkrupp, Adidas, SAP, Heidelberg Cement and BMW are gaining 1 to 3 percent.

The French market is up marginally amid stock specific activity. The CAC 40 is up 7.30 points or 0.13 percent at 5527.79.

ST Microelectronics is gaining 4.5 percent. Vivendi is rising 3.2 percent and Technip is advancing 2.6 percent. Valeo, Arcelor Mittal, Kering, Bouygues, Michelin, Peugeot, Accor, Solvay and Vinci are up 1 to 2 percent.

Among other markets in Europe, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Spain and Sweden are modestly higher. Greece, Poland and Switzerland are flat.

In economic news, data from Eurostat showed Euro area to have expanded at a slower pace in the first quarter, largely due to temporary factors like weather.

According to the survey, the manufacturing sector in the currency bloc grew at the slowest pace in more than a year in April. Gross domestic product grew 0.4 percent sequentially in the first quarter, slower than the 0.7 percent expansion seen in the fourth quarter, according to flash estimate from Eurostat. That was the slowest since the third quarter of 2016.

On a yearly basis, economic growth eased to 2.5 percent, as expected, from 2.8 percent in the fourth quarter.

Among big-four nations, France and Italy expanded only 0.3 percent each in the first quarter. Meanwhile, Spain maintained a stable growth of 0.7 percent. Germany’s first quarter GDP data is due on May 15.

The final factory Purchasing Managers’ Index for manufacturing fell to a 13-month low of 56.2 from 56.6 in March.

Germany’s headline IHS Markit/BME manufacturing PMI slid to 58.1 in April from 58.2 in March. This was the lowest reading for nine months and matched the flash estimate. In France, the final PMI rose marginally to 53.8 from March’s 12-month low of 53.7. The flash score was 53.4.

Elsewhere, official data showed that the euro area unemployment rate remained unchanged at the lowest level since December 2008, despite the slowdown in economic activity. The jobless rate held steady at 8.5 percent in March. The rate stood at 9.4 percent in March 2017.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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