Forexpros – European stocks remained higher, after a well-received Italian government bond auction while investors continued to focus on central bank policy meetings later in the week for signs of fresh easing measures.
During European afternoon trade, the EURO STOXX 50 climbed 0.92%, France’s CAC 40 advanced 0.47%, while Germany’s DAX 30 rallied 0.79%.
Italy saw the yield on 10-year bonds fall below 6% for the first time since April at an auction of government debt, indicating that investors now see Italian government debt as a somewhat safer investment.
Stocks found support last week after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi pledged to do whatever is necessary to preserve the euro, fueling speculation that the ECB is set to announce fresh policy measures to tackle the long running crisis at its policy meeting on Thursday.
Investors were also looking ahead to the outcome of the Federal Reserve’s policy setting meeting on Wednesday, amid speculation over whether the bank will hint at further easing measures.
Financial stocks remained broadly higher, led by Italian lenders Intesa Sanpaolo and Unicredit, up 5.95% and 4.66%, while France’s Societe Generale and BNP Paribas also surged 3.56% and 3.31% respectively.
Meanwhile, Germany’s two biggest lenders, Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank, extended earlier gains, with shares climbing 3.57% and 2.35% respectively.
Among earnings, Air France-KLM Group skyrocketed 14.99% after posting a narrower second-quarter loss, thanks to improved passenger activity and as a restructuring program helped to reduce operating costs.
On the downside, JCDecaux saw shares plunge 11.12%, after the French billboard company said first-half net income fell 13% to EUR82.4 million as organic growth in the second quarter was “slightly lower than expected.”
In London, FTSE 100 rose 0.56%, boosted by strong gains in financial stocks, while industry data showed that an index of realized sales in the U.K. fell more-than-expected in July.
Shares in Barclays surged 2.92% and Lloyds Banking gained 2.57%, while the Royal Bank of Scotland and HSBC Holdings rallied 1.86% and 0.77% respectively.
Mining giants Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton pushed higher, with shares climbing 1.18% and 1.07%, while copper producers Xstrata and Kazakhmys jumped 2.65% and 1.65%.
Among earnings, oil and gas major Anglo American dropped 0.32% after saying that underlying operating profit fell 38% on year to USD3.7 billion in the first half of the year, missing analysts’ expectations.
Meanwhile, shares in Ryanair Holdings climbed 0.56%, erasing earlier losses posted after the airline company said fiscal first-quarter earnings tumbled due to higher fuel costs.
In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a lower open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.13% fall, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.21% decline, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.02% loss.
Also Monday, official data showed that Spain’s economy contracted 0.4% in the second quarter, marking the third consecutive quarter of contraction.
Later in the day, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was to meet with German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and Mario Draghi to discuss the global economy.
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