RTTNews - The European stock index futures point towards a higher opening on Wednesday, as investor digest a string of company results. However, Asian stocks, with the exception of Japan, snapped a 11-day rally on Wednesday amid lower commodity prices and profit taking after recent strong rallies.
British mortgage approvals and producer prices from France are among the economic reports scheduled to be released in Europe. Annually, producer prices are likely to decline by by 8.6%, larger than the 7.8% decrease reported in May. On a monthly basis, economists forecast a 0.1% drop. U.K.'s mortgage approvals in June is expected to rise to 47,000. At the same time, net consumer credit is forecast to rise GBP 0.3 billion. Investors also look forward to data on durable goods orders from the U.S.
The U.K. government is set to announce a GBP 1 billion scheme to create jobs mainly for the youth in the public sector, reports said Wednesday citing Work and Pensions Secretary Yvette Cooper. The scheme will remove 150,000 persons from the unemployment registers over the next two years, with the scheme mostly to be funded by councils, quangos and charities.
On the forex front, the British pound edged down against the U.S. dollar during early deals on Wednesday. At 2:10 am ET, the pound-dollar pair touched a 2-day low of 1.6390, compared to 1.6430 hit late New York Tuesday.
Wall Street ended Tuesday's session on a mixed note in reaction to the day's varied earnings and economic reports. Moving in a choppy fashion right through the day, the major averages closed on opposite sides of the unchanged mark, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq posting a modest 0.39% gain.
On the economic front, according to a release from the Consumer Conference Board, the consumer confidence index fell to 46.6 in July, reflecting less favorable assessments of both current conditions and the near-term outlook. Separately, a report from Standard and Poor's showed that although U.S. home prices continued to decline at a significant annual rate in the month of May, the pace of decline in prices slowed for the fourth consecutive month.
Crude oil futures finished lower on Tuesday, surrendering some recent gains, on demand concerns after data released by the American Petroleum Institute showed a larger-than-expected increase in crude inventories last week. After settling at $67.23 a barrel, down $1.15 in New York trading on Tuesday, light sweet crude for September delivery dropped further to $66.55 in Asian trading on Wednesday on renewed concerns about the U.S. economy. Traders await the release of inventory report from the U.S. Energy Administration department later in the day.
In corporate news, Arcelor Mittal reported second-quarter net loss, on the basis of IFRS, of $792 million or $0.57 per basic share, compared with a net income of $5.84 billion or $4.20 per basic share last year. In euro terms, net loss was 581 million euros or 0.42 euros per basic share, compared to 3.74 billion euros or 2.69 euros per basic share last year.
Semiconductor company STMicroelectronics reported a wider net loss of $318 million for the second quarter, hurt by lower revenues amid the difficult economic conditions. The company also provided its third quarter forecast, with revenue expected to come in ahead of Street expectations.
SAP AG reported second-quarter net income of 423 million euros, up 4% from 408 million euros a year ago. Net income attributable to shareholders of SAP rose 3% to 422 million euros or 0.35 euros per share from 408 million euros or 0.34 euros per share last year.
PSA Peugeot Citroen, Europe's second-biggest car maker, has halted construction of its third factory in China with local partner Dongfeng Motor Group Co, as its two existing plants are sufficient to meet current demand, reports suggest.
Cadbury plc reported first-half profit attributable to equity holders of GBP 313 million or 23.1 pence per share, compared to GBP 113 million or 6 pence per share last year. BG GROUP plc's second-quarter pre-tax profit declined to £920 million from £1.32 billion a year ago.
The European markets fell on Tuesday, as Deutsche Bank led banking stocks lower after reporting a jump in its provision for loan losses and BP paced declines among energy stocks after reporting a sharp drop in second quarter profit. The FTSEurofirst 30 index of pan-European blue chips closed 0.96% lower, while the narrower DJ Stoxx 50 index fell 0.95%. Around Europe, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index slipped 1.25%, France's CAC 40 index fell 1.23% and Germany's DAX index dropped 1.46%.
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