RTTNews - European stock index futures point towards a positive opening on Tuesday after closing mostly lower in the previous session. After moving in a choppy fashion in early trading, Asian stocks edged higher for a second straight day today amid hopes that a global economic recovery would lead to more earnings upgrades. However, the mood is cautious ahead of the crucial 2-day U.S. Federal Open Market Committee meeting, beginning Tuesday.
In economic news from Europe, retail sales in the United Kingdom increased 1.8 percent in July on a store-for-store basis compared to one year earlier, according to data released by the British Retail Consortium. The BRC report also said overall retail sales increased 3.6 percent compared to one year earlier.
Meanwhile, an index measuring average house price in the United Kingdom improved to -8.1 in July, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said, up from -17.6 in June and marking the highest score since August 2007. The ratio of sales to the stock of property remaining in the market climbed for a seventh straight month from 23 in June to 25 in July, the highest level since February 2008.
Separately, Germany's Federal Statistical Office said in a final report that the consumer price index or CPI dropped 0.5% year-over-year in July, reversing the 0.1% increase in the preceding month. The consumer price index in July was revised up from a 0.6% fall estimated in the preliminary report. This was the first annual decline in consumer prices since March 1987. Investors also look forward to UK's external trade data, scheduled for release later in the session.
On Wall Street, stocks posted modest losses on Monday, as traders cashed in on recent gains ahead of some key economic reports on tap for this week, including data on retail sales, industrial production and weekly jobless claims. Further, the Federal Open Market Committee will make its interest rate announcement on Wednesday, with the key fed funds rate expected to remain unchanged amid a challenging economic environment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average eased 0.34%, the Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.4% and the S&P 500 index drifted down 0.33%.
Crude oil prices touched as low as $70.09 before finishing lower at $70.60 a barrel, down 33 cents in New York trading on Monday, weighed down by losses on Wall Street and caution ahead of the Federal Reserve's interest rate decision later this week. In Asian trading on Tuesday, crude oil prices were little changed above $70 a barrel ahead of the release of U.S. oil inventory data from the American Petroleum Institute and Energy Administration Administration.
In corporate news, staffing company Adecco SA swung to a loss of 147 million euros in the second quarter due to one-off charges and anticipates no material pick-up of business activities in the near term.
Dako, a provider of cancer diagnostic solutions, announced the signing of an agreement with Genentech, Inc. to collaborate on the regulatory submissions of Dako's HercepTest and HER2 FISH pharmDx as companion diagnostics for Herceptin (trastuzumab) in patients with advanced HER2- positive stomach (gastric) cancer
Europe's second-largest vehicle- parts maker Continental AG and controlling shareholder Schaeffler reached a compromise in a leadership dispute that will lead to the departures of Continental Chief Executive Karl-Thomas Neumann and Supervisory Board Chairman Rolf Koerfer, reports suggest.
Swiss sanitary equipment maker Geberit AG reported a smaller-than-expected 21% drop in first-half net profit.
InterContinental Hotels Group plc reported a second-quarter loss attributable to the equity holders of the parent of $56 million or 19.2 cents per share, compared to a profit of $101 million or 34.1 cents per share last year.
Sterlite Industries (India), a subsidiary of Vedanta Resources plc., said it has changed its bid to purchase operating assets of Asarco LLC. The revised consideration includes cash of $1,587 million and a $208 million Copper Price Participation Note.
Interserve plc said its half-year pre-tax profit rose to £40.0 million from £33.7 million in the prior year period. Profit for the period was £31.8 million, up from £23.7 million in the comparable period.
Crimson Tide plc posted a narrower six-month pre-tax loss of GBP 35 thousand compared with GBP 159 thousand in the prior year period.
The European markets fell for the first time in three days on Monday, as Daimler and Volkswagen led automotive stocks lower following broker downgrades and Lloyds Banking Group paced declines among banking stocks after a newspaper report that Britain's biggest mortgage lender may consider a multi-billion pound share issue.
The FTSEurfirst 300 index of pan-European blue chips closed 0.60% lower, while the narrower DJ Stoxx 50 index fell 0.57%. Around Europe, France's CAC 40 index fell 0.47% and Germany's DAX index slipped 0.75%, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index rose 0.68%.
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