The major markets across Europe are expected to open higher on Tuesday morning ahead of the G20 meeting in London. The previous session's declines place the major averages on track for a rebound even as traders are expected to express apprehensions over the outcome of the G20 meeting. At the same time, traders may be encouraged by the positive consumer confidence data from the U.K.
In the U.S, markets declined sharply overnight led by automakers after the Obama Administration indicated that General Motors (GM) and Chrysler have not gone far enough in their restructuring plans and need to step up their efforts to reorganize in order to receive additional government aid. Financial stocks were also under stress after the Treasury Secretary stated that more banks might need more money than initially projected to clean up their balance sheets.
On Monday, the Dow closed down 254.16 points or 3.3% at 7,522, the Nasdaq closed down 43.40 points or 2.8% at 1,502 and the S&P 500 closed down 28.41 points or 3.5% at 787.
The markets across Europe declined sharply on Monday led by banking stocks after the Bank of Spain took over the administration of regional savings bank Caja Castilla la Mancha, and automotive stocks declined after the Obama administration rejected General Motors' and Chrysler's turnaround plans.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of pan-European blue chips closed 3.85% lower at 709 points, while the narrower DJ Stoxx 50 index fell 3.96% to 1,751 points.
Around Europe, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index fell 3.49% to 3,763, while France's CAC 40 index slipped 4.27% to 2,719 and Germany's DAX index dropped 5.10% to 3,989.
In Asia, the Japanese market gave up all of its early gains on a probable delay in the announcement of a third stimulus package and shed more than 100 points. The other markets in the region also trimmed most of the early gains and are trading mixed.
On the economic front, data consolidator GfK revealed that Consumer confidence improved for the second consecutive month in Great Britain, suggesting that measures to end the recession are starting to take hold. The consumer confidence index came in at -30 versus analyst expectations for a score of -37 following the -35 reading in February. British consumers became more optimistic about the general economic outlook over the next 12 months, also upgrading their assessment of the state of the economy over the past 12 months. GfK further noted that lowering of the interest rates by Bank of England impacted the consumer confidence positively.
On corporate front, financial stocks might witness action after financial services firm, Fortis reported a loss of 28 billion euros for the full year 2008 compared to a net profit of 3.9 billion euros during 2007. U.K.-based financial services company Barclays plc (BCS, BARC.L) said Monday that it has decided not to participate in the U.K. government's Asset Protection Scheme, a scheme designed to insure the so-called toxic assets of banks, following discussions with major shareholders. The company also said that talks regarding the potential sale of its iShares business with several interested parties were progressing well.
Siemens AG, the largest engineering company in Europe, announced plans to trim suppliers by one-fifth in an effort to reduce costs.
Cement stocks might also witness action as ratings of the major cement makers in Italy, Buzzi Unicem SpA and ItalCementi SpA were revised by brokerage Nomura International.
Marks & Spencer Group PLC (MKS.L) reported that fourth-quarter group sales were up 1.9%. Online Sales for the quarter rose 20%. Further, quarterly International sales grew 23%. UK sales were down 0.3%, where as UK like for like sales declined 4.2%.
Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd. (BPMUF.PK) announced the submission of a Marketing Authorization Application, or MAA, for Toctino in 13 additional European Union Member States as well as in Norway and Iceland. Toctino is a new once-daily oral treatment for adults with severe chronic hand eczema unresponsive to potent topical corticosteroids.
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