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European stocks advanced for a second day as China's cash crunch eased and German consumer confidence climbed. U.S. index futures and Asian shares gained.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 1.6 percent to 284.26 at 11:03 a.m. in London, on course for the biggest two-day jump since April. The gauge has still slumped 8.5 percent since May 22, when Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke commented on the possibility of paring bond purchases. The measure has dropped 5.5 percent this month and 3.2 percent this quarter, trimming its 2013 advance to 1.6 percent.
The cost of locking in China's interest rates slid for a fourth day and money-market rates fell after the central bank pledged to ease the worst cash crunch in a decade. The People's Bank of China has provided financing to some financial institutions to stabilize interbank lending rates and will use short-term liquidity operations and existing loan-facility tools to ensure steady markets, according to a statement yesterday.
The one-year interest-rate swap, the fixed cost needed to receive the floating seven-day repurchase rate, fell 15 basis points to 3.92 percent. It reached an all-time high of 5.06 percent on June 20.
German consumer confidence will rise to the highest level since 2007 next month, GfK AG said today. The sentiment gauge climbed to 6.8 from 6.5 in June, topping economists forecasts in a Bloomberg survey.
Colruyt (COLR) gained 7.6 percent to 39.83 euros, the largest jump since June 27, 2012. Belgium's biggest discount food retailer said full-year earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization amounted to 699.8 million euros, beating the average 684 million-euro analyst projection in a Bloomberg survey. The company also raised its dividend to 1 euro a share, exceeding the Bloomberg Dividend Forecast of 98 cents.
Direct Line climbed 5.2 percent to 230.4 pence, the highest since its initial public offering in October. The insurer said it may cut about 2,000 jobs as part of a plan to further reduce costs to 1 billion pounds by next year.
GSW increased 4.3 percent to 29.76 euros. CEO Bernd Kottmann will leave his post on July 15 after investors protested how he was hired, Berlin-based GSW said in a statement late yesterday. Chairman Eckart John von Freyend will leave on July 31. The decision ends two months of conflict that ended at a meeting in Berlin last week at which shareholders passed a no-confidence motion against Kottmann and voted to dismiss Freyend.
Afren Plc rallied 6.7 percent to 129.9 pence as the U.K. oil explorer in Africa and northern Iraq said its Ogo well discovered a "significant" light oil field in Nigeria.
FTSE 100 6,168.47 +66.56 +1.09%
CAC 40 3,713.25 +63.43 +1.74%
DAX 7,936.19 +124.89 +1.60%
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