RTTNews - The European markets may open on a subdued note Wednesday morning, as a lack of positive triggers and profit taking after successive gains in the past four sessions weigh on stocks. Investors are likely to turn their attention to July U.S. durable goods orders and a report on new home sales from the U.S. for more signs of recovery in the world's largest economy.
On Wall Street, stocks finished modestly higher on Tuesday, as better-than-expected economic reports on housing prices and consumer confidence and news of Ben Bernanke's reappointment as the Fed Chief for a second term generated some upbeat sentiment. While the Dow and the Nasdaq closed up around 0.3% each, the S&P 500 index rose 0.24%.
Taking cues from Wall Street, Asian stocks advanced on Wednesday, with China's Shanghai Composite index surging up over 2% amid some bargain hunting in equipment makers and renewable energy companies.
Meanwhile, oil prices turned sharply lower on Tuesday as traders took profits after a recent rally despite positive home prices and consumer confidence reports. Light sweet crude for October delivery dropped to $72.05, losing $2.32 or over 3 percent on the session. However, in Asian trading on Wednesday, crude oil recovered form an early loss and is now trading at $72.22 a barrel, up 0.24%.
In corporate news, France's leading banks, including BNP Paribas and Société Générale, have pledged to be exemplary in their bonus policies, as part of a push by President Nicolas Sarkozy to keep French banks competitive, reports suggest.
Lloyds Banking Group may possibly agree to write off as much as 500 million pounds on loans it made to Admiral Taverns as part of a restructuring, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.
Brewer Heineken N.V. reported half-year profit attributable to equity holders of EUR 489 million or EUR 1.00 per share, compared to EUR 407 million or EUR 0.83 per share last year.
WPP plc reported first-half profit attributable to equity holders of GBP 108.4 million or 8.8 pence per share, compared to GBP 208.2 million or 17.8 pence per share last year.
Tullow Oil plc said its six-month pre-tax profit from continuing activities dipped to £34.8 million from £187.3 million in the prior year period.
The European markets rose for the fourth day on Tuesday, as investors were cheered by better-than-expected readings on U.S. consumer confidence and home price. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of pan-European blue chips closed 0.37% higher, while the narrower DJ Stoxx 50 index rose 0.51%. Around Europe, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index rose 0.42%, France's CAC 40 index advanced 0.78% and Germany's DAX index added 0.68%.
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