RTTNews - European stocks are poised for a subdued start Wednesday morning amid some profit taking due to weak Asian cues and lower U.S stock futures. Technology stocks could be in the spotlight after Hewlett-Packard reported slightly better-than-expected quarterly results.
The Asian markets mostly fell on Wednesday amid concerns surrounding China and doubts over the pace of global economic recovery.
Back home, Germany's Federal Statistical Office said in a report that the producer price index or PPI dropped 7.8% year-over-year in July, compared to a 4.6% fall in the previous month. Economists were looking for a decline of 6.5%.
Amid the release, the European currency slipped slightly against its major counterparts. At 2:05 am ET, the euro was quoted at 1.4117 against the U.S. dollar, 0.8554 versus the British pound, 1.5199 against the Swiss franc and 133.35 versus the Japanese yen.
Investors look forward to the Bank of England's minutes and CBI Industrial Trends survey results due later in the session from Europe. At the end of two-day rate setting meeting held on 5 and 6, the BoE had decided to hold its key interest rate at 0.5% and to raise the size of quantitative easing measures by GBP 50 billion to GBP 175 billion.
On Wall Street, stocks saw notable strength on Tuesday, as better than expected results from big retailers more than offset disappointing economic reports. A report from the Commerce Department showed an unexpected decrease in housing starts in the month of July and separately the Labor Department revealed that producer prices dropped 0.9 percent in July following a 1.8 percent increase in the previous month. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.9%, the Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.3% and the S&P 500 index rose 1.01%.
Crude oil futures rose more than 3% to close at $69.19 a barrel on Tuesday, as recovering global equities boosted optimism about the economy and energy demand. In Asian trading on Wednesday, crude oil shed its early gains and is now trading almost unchanged at $69.20 a barrel despite data from the American Petroleum Institute showing a surprise 6.1 million barrel draw in U.S. oil inventories.
In corporate news, Telekom Austria Group reported that second quarter net income, based on IFRS, fell 14.5% to 82.3 million euros or 0.19 euro per share from prior year's 96.3 million euros or 0.22 euros per share.
Insolvent German retailer Arcandor AG's 43.9 percent stake in Thomas Cook may be offered to institutional investors via a share placing in early September, reports suggest.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has ordered a re-examination of Sanofi-Aventis SA's patent granted on the blood-thinner Plavix.
Venture Production plc reported first-half profit of GBP 54.08 million or 35 pence per share, compared to GBP 54.68 million or 35.2 pence per share last year.
PV Crystalox Solar plc announced interim results for the six months ended June, reporting profit attributable to equity holders of the parent of 16.4 million euros or 4.0 euro cents per share, compared to 36.93 million euros or 9.0 euro cents per share last year.
The European markets rose for the first time in three days on Tuesday, as a report showed that German economic sentiment improved on the back of surprising economic recovery in the second quarter. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of pan-European blue chips closed 1.37% higher, while the narrower DJ Stoxx 50 index rose 1.41%. Around Europe, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index rose 0.88%, France's CAC 40 index advanced 0.91% and Germany's DAX index added 0.94%.
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