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TMCNet:  European Stocks Seen Rising On Fed Minutes, China Data

[May 22, 2014]

European Stocks Seen Rising On Fed Minutes, China Data

(Alliance News Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) VIENNA (Alliance News) - European stocks are poised to open higher on Thursday after minutes from the Federal Reserve's April meeting showed the pace of eventual interest rate hikes would probably be relatively slow. While Fed officials discussed rate hike procedures at the meeting, no decision was made on mix of policy tools to begin tightening monetary policy, the minutes showed.


Asian stocks are broadly higher, with the markets in Australia, Indonesia, and Taiwan Japan climbing 1-2%, as the Fed minutes reinforced expectations the US central would not raise interest rates anytime soon. Helping to buoy investor sentiment further, the China's HSBC PMI topped forecasts in May, reaching a 5-month high.

Looking ahead, investors eye PMI reports from major European economies and US data on weekly jobless claims, manufacturing and existing home sales later in the day for further clues on the global economic outlook.

The euro fell against the dollar as investors look ahead to the European Parliamentary elections later this week and the ECB's June meeting for fresh clues on the direction of interest rates.

In corporate news, French media giant Vivendi S.A. has unveiled plans to sell half of its remaining stake in video game publisher Activision Blizzard Inc. in a public offering.

Auto giant Renault SA has signed an agreement with Tan Chong Motors to build Fluence in Malaysia.

Financial services firm Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. agreed to sell its New York Stock Exchange floor-trading business to Dutch high-frequency trading firm IMC Financial Markets, a unit of IMC Group B.V., the Wall Street Journal reported.

US-based Tobacco company Reynolds American Inc. is in advanced talks to buy smaller rival Lorillard Inc., media reports suggest. UK-based British American Tobacco PLC, the maker of Kent and Dunhill cigarettes, owns a 42% stake in Reynolds.

European stocks posted solid gains on Wednesday, helped by signs of eurozone recovery after a report showed euro-area consumer confidence improved more than forecast in May. The German DAX rose 0.6%, France's CAC 40 gained 0.4% and the UK's FTSE 100 added 0.3%.

The major US averages rose about a percent each overnight, with consumer discretionary and energy stocks rallying, after minutes of the Federal Reserve's April meeting didn't provide any indication that an interest rate hike is imminent.

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