European Shares Set For Positive Start

17.02.17 08:16

BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT/PARIS (dpa-AFX) - European stocks are poised for a higher open on Friday despite weak cues from Asia as a week-long 'Trump rally' has possibly to come to an end.

Investors may take some comfort from the ECB policy meeting minutes published on Thursday, which showed that the central bank is in no rush to alter its current ultra-dovish monetary policy stance until the end of the year.

U.S. stocks ended mixed overnight, with the Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500 losing about 0.1 percent to snap their seven-day winning streak, as markets showed signs of fatigue after a five-day streak of record highs.

Asian stocks were mostly lower as the yen strengthened, oil prices wavered between gains and losses on signs of rising U.S. crude output and prosecutors investigating a sprawling corruption scandal involving impeached South Korean President Park Geun-hye arrested the heir apparent to Samsung Electronics.

The dollar weakened for a second day and U.S. Treasuries steadied while gold held firm to hover near a three-month high.

U.K. retail sales figures for January are slated for release later in the day, with analysts expecting sales to grow 1 percent month-on-month, reversing a 1.9 percent fall in December. Eurozone current account data and U.K. retail sales figures may sway sentiment as the session progresses.

In corporate news, German drugmaker Stada Arzneimittel AG said the open-minded talks with the two potential bidders are continuing.

Airbus Group said it is "surprised" by the Austrian government's decision to file a criminal complaint over alleged willful deception and fraud linked to the order for Eurofighter jets back in 2003.

Insurer Allianz announced a share buyback program worth up to 3 billion euros after posting solid fourth-quarter results.

French eye-care firm Essilor International, which is in deal to be merged with Ray-Ban maker Luxottica Group, reported that its fiscal 2016 profit increased 7.4 percent to 813 million euros from 757 million euros last year.

European stocks fell for the first time in eight days on Thursday, with banks and miners pacing declines, as metals prices retreated and a slew of earnings results from the likes of Nestle, NN Group and Cobham disappointed investors.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index shed 0.4 percent. France's CAC 40 index slid half a percent while the German DAX and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 fell by 0.3 percent.

Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX


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