RTTNews - Buoyed by gains on Wall Street overnight, European stocks are likely to open higher on Friday morning after losses in the past two sessions. Asian stocks mostly advanced on Friday, led by consumer and technology-related shares, but worries about tighter government policies sent Chinese stocks lower for second straight day.

The economic calendar for Europe is relatively light, with only the UK's GDP report due to be released in the session at 4.30am ET. According to preliminary estimate, the British economy contracted 0.8% sequentially in the second quarter.

An index measuring consumer confidence in the United Kingdom held steady at -25 for the third consecutive month, marketing group GfK said on Friday - defying forecasts for a slight increase to -24.

Following an initial retreat on the heels of relatively uneventful economic reports, stocks staged a steady recovery and finished with modest gains on Wall Street Thursday. A report from the commerce department revealed that second quarter GDP decreased at an annual rate of 1.0 percent in the second quarter, unchanged from the 1.0 percent decrease initially reported.

Separately, the number of people filing for first-time unemployment benefits edged down last week, according to a report released by the Labor Department, although jobless claims remain at a relatively high level. The Dow advanced 0.39%, the Nasdaq gained 0.16% and the S&P 500 index edged up 0.28%.

After showing a notable decline in early trading on Thursday on signs of faltering crude demand in the U.S., crude oil prices rallied following a downturn in the value of the U.S. dollar. Crude for October delivery ended the session up $1.06 at $72.49 a barrel, after falling to as low as $69.83 earlier in the day. In Asian trading on Friday, crude oil firmed up to $72.65 a barrel, up 0.22%.

In corporate news, auto maker Chrysler Group LLC, formed in 2009 from a global strategic alliance with a group led by Italian auto maker Fiat SpA (FIATY.PK), in a statement released to members of Congress on Thursday, revealed that it would assume product liability claims on vehicles manufactured by it prior to its emergence from bankruptcy protection on June 10, 2009.

Western Canadian Coal Corp., which owns a 45% interest in Xtract Energy plc, announced an update on Xtract's oil and gas interests in Turkey.

Aeroports De Paris reported first-half net income attributable to equity holders of 127.27 million euros or 1.29 euros per share, compared to 125.58 million euros or 1.27 euros per share last year.

French diversified conglomerate Bouygues SA Thursday said its first half net income fell 22% to 547 million euros, but it still increased its revenue forecast for 2009.

Standard & Poor's Ratings Service cut Deutsche Lufthansa AG's credit rating a notch to BBB- from BBB due to its deteriorating credit protection.

French investment house Eurazeo reported a net loss of 120.9 million euros in the first half, weighed by the absence of capital gains, the loss of value in investment properties and the decline of results of its equity affiliates Rexel and Accor.

Retailer Carrefour SA reported a net loss of 58 million euros in the six months through June, compared to a net profit of 744 million euros in the year-ago period.

The European markets fell for the second day on Thursday after Diageo said the coming year will be challenging and Dexia reported a drop in second quarter profit. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of pan-European blue chips closed 0.54% lower, while the narrower DJ Stoxx 50 index fell 0.28%. Around Europe, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index fell 0.43%, France's CAC 40 index slipped 0.54% and Germany's DAX index dropped 0.94%.

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