Europe Markets: European stocks search for firm direction as earnings roll in, with inflation data in focus

Europe Markets: European stocks search for firm direction as earnings roll in, with inflation data in focus

European stocks wavered Tuesday, but headed higher for July, as the market absorbed a new round of corporate earnings reports, including well-received results from Swiss banking heavyweight Credit Suisse.

Updates on inflation and economic growth figures from the eurozone were in focus, as the euro rose after the July reading on French inflation came in stronger than anticipated.

How markets are performing

The Stoxx Europe 600 index SXXP, +0.02% was up less than 1 point at 391.01 and switched in and out of positive territory. Utility and tech shares were losing the most, while the oil and gas, telecommunications and financial groups led the advancers. On Monday, the index fell 0.3% .

For July, the pan-European benchmark was in line to rise 2.9%.

Germany’s DAX 30 index DAX, -0.01% added 0.1% to reach 12,805.13, but was headed for a 4% climb in July, which would be its best month since April.

France’s CAC 40 index PX1, +0.01% however, moved down by less than 1 point to 5,489.02, but was poised to rise 3.1% for the month.

Spain’s IBEX 35 IBEX, +0.45% was up 0.4% to 9,896.20, and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 index UKX, +0.12% moved up 0.1% to 7,709.55.

The euro EURUSD, +0.1281% rose to $1.1715 from $1.1707 late Monday in New York.

What’s driving markets

Major regional stock indexes were wading between small gains and losses on Tuesday, but those gauges were still poised to rise between 1.9% and 4% for July. The Stoxx 600 was looking at its strongest monthly performance since April, when it climbed by 3.9%.

Below the lackluster appearance of equity indexes Tuesday were notable moves in a number of stocks as companies rolled out their financial and business updates. Among banks, Credit Suisse shares picked up more than 2% after the Swiss lender’s second-quarter profit beat expectations, putting it on track for its first annual profit in four years. Meanwhile, shares of Standard Chartered PLC fell even as the Asia-focused bank’s profit increased during the first half of the year.

Which economic data is in focus?

On the economic docket, Eurostat is expected to release the first look at second-quarter growth in gross domestic product for the eurozone at 10 a.m. London time, or 5 a.m. Eastern Time.

GDP ie expected to expand by 0.4% from the first quarter, and by 2.2% on a year-over-year basis, according to a FactSet consensus survey.

Eurozone inflation is forecast to rise 2% year-over-year. French inflation in July was up 2.3%, more than the 2.1% rate anticipated in a Wall Street Journal poll of economists. The inflation update is scheduled for release at 10 a.m. London time, or 5 a.m. Eastern Time.

German jobless claims dropped by 6,000 in July compared with June, the Federal Employment Agency said. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had forecast a decline of 10,000.

Stock movers

Credit Suisse Group AG shares CSGN, +1.30%  gained 2% as the lender said second-quarter net profit more than doubled to 647 million Swiss francs, above expectations of 596 million Swiss francs.

Deutsche Lufthansa AG shares LHA, +6.34%  jumped 5.5% as the German airline raised its unit-revenue forecast for the year.

Travis Perkins PLC shares TPK, -11.34% tumbled 9.8%. The British building products supplier warned that its earnings will be at the lower end of analyst expectations because of a challenging consumer market, and said it’s launching a review of its business.

Vivendi SA VIV, +5.28%  shares were up 4.9%. The French media group posted better-than-expected earnings and said that it’s looking to sell a stake of up to 50% in Universal Music Group.

BP PLC BP., +0.53% BP, -0.22%  shares were up 0.6% after the energy giant posted second-quarter results . The company said Tuesday that its equivalent to net income more than tripled in the second quarter, propelled by higher earnings in its upstream business and Rosneft Oil Co.

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