The major stock markets are poised to open weaker on Wednesday morning, defying the cues from the Wall Streets where markets closed in positive territory as traders used the weakness in the two previous sessions as a buying opportunity on the last trading day of the first quarter.
On Tuesday, the Dow closed up 86.90 points or 1.2% at 7,609, the Nasdaq closed up 26.79 points or 1.8% at 1,529 and the S&P 500 closed up 10.34 points or 1.3% at 798.
The markets in Europe rallied on Tuesday as mining stocks rallied on firmer copper prices and banking stocks rebounded after nervousness about the fragile health of the sector eased.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of pan-European blue chips closed 3.47% higher at 734 points, while the narrower DJ Stoxx 50 index rose 3.72% to 1,816 points.
The U.K.'s FTSE 10 index climbed 4.34% to 3,926, while France's CAC 40 index surged up 3.24% to 2,807 and Germany's DAX index rose 2.39% to 4,085.
Across Asia, the major markets opened strongly higher, taking cues from Wall Street and speculation that bankruptcy of major auto companies in the U.S. will increase the market share of Asian counterparts in the U.S markets. Resilience of U.S. investors also lifted the sentiment in early trading. On the other hand, Japan's Tankan Survey revealed a bleak picture about the second largest economy in the world. Also the U.S. futures are pointing to a sharply lower opening, which might likely weigh on the investors across Europe. Investors might take profits from yesterday's gains and remain in the sidelines ahead of the G20 meeting on April Fool's Day.
On economic front, Germany's Federal Statistical Office announced that the retail turnover in real terms dropped 5.3% year-over-year in February, after falling 1.4% in January. Economists were looking a decline of 1.2%. A year ago, retail turnover was up 3.6%. On a monthly basis, retail turnover declined 0.2% in February, compared with a 0.9% fall in the previous month. Economists had predicted an increase of 0.3%.
Among the stocks, automobile stocks might witness action following reports that the U.S. Government might allow U.S. automakers to fail. Monthly sales data from the U.S Automakers later in the day might also influence the market. The long-term credit rating of Fiat SpA has been cut by S&P's Rating Services.
Arcadis said its 50% subsidiary Arcadis Aqumen Facility Management has signed a contract to provide facility management services to NS Poort, the part of the Dutch railway company that is active in the development of locations, operating buildings and terrains in and around railway stations.
Evolution Group Plc (EVG.L) announced that the investment agreement signed with First Eastern Financial Holdings Ltd. on March 6, 2009 has completed on March 31, 2009. The company noted that the completion of the agreement was conditional on the approval of certain written resolutions of existing shareholders of Evolution Securities China Ltd. and the receipt of certain regulatory clearances to the satisfaction of Evolution Group and First Eastern.
Greystar Resources Ltd. (GSL.TO, GSL.L) reported fourth-quarter net loss of C$5.94 million or C$0.13 per share, compared to a loss of C$3.13 million or C$0.07 per share in the year-ago quarter. Exploration expenditures increased to C$5.53 million from C$3.27 million in the previous year. The company posted fiscal 2008 net loss of C$113.2 million or C$0.48 per share, compared to a restated loss of C$91.25 million or C$0.35 per share in the prior year.
AGI Therapeutics Plc (AGI.L) reported that net Loss attributable to equity holders for 12 months ended 31 December 2008 was US$18.2 million or 27.0 US cents per share, compared to a loss of US$20.71 million or 30.7 US cents per share a year ago. Pre-tax loss was US$18.2 million, narrower than S$20.45 million in the prior-year.
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