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TMCNet:  European Stocks To See Cautious Start After Rally

[July 17, 2014]

European Stocks To See Cautious Start After Rally

(dpa-AFX International Compact Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) VIENNA (dpa-AFX) - European stocks are seen slightly lower on Thursday as investors pause for breath awaiting cues from earnings and a slew of U.S. data slated for release later in the day.


The Asian markets reversed early gains as a spate of upbeat U.S. economic reports and encouraging corporate earnings stoked concerns the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates sooner rather than later. Fed Chair Janet Yellen told the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee yesterday that she saw sufficient growth to support gains in the labor market.

In economic releases, investors await final Eurozone consumer price data later in the day for important clues to growth and inflation outlook. The harmonized index of consumer prices is expected to rise 0.5 percent year-over-year in June, as estimated in the preliminary report.

Across the Atlantic, investors eye reports on weekly jobless claims, housing starts and Philadelphia-area manufacturing activity for clues on the timing of interest rate rises. On the earnings front, e-commerce giant eBay posted quarterly earnings that surpassed expectations, while revenue fell short of estimates. Data storage specialist SanDisk's Q2 earnings beat estimates, but its margins and sales forecasts fell short of expectations. B Big-name companies Morgan Stanley, Mattel and UnitedHealth are due to report their quarterly results before the U.S. opening bell.

The United States and Europe strengthened sanctions on Moscow over Ukraine Wednesday, targeting major banks and energy companies, given the country's continued provocations in Ukraine. U.S. defense officials are concerned about a buildup of Russian troops along the country's border with Ukraine, Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren told reporters.

In domestic corporate news, German business software giant SAP AG reported a sharp decline in second-quarter profit despite a solid performance by its core business.

Givaudan AG, a Swiss manufacturer of fragrance and flavor products, reported first-half income attributable to shareholders of 305 million Swiss francs, up from 271 million francs in the year-ago period.

French grocery retailer Carrefour Group reported second-quarter 2014 consolidated sales of 20.52 billion euros, a 5.2 percent increase at constant exchange rates and a 0.3 percent improvement at current exchange rates year-over-year.

Swedish telecommunications firm TeliaSonera AB reported a 12.1 percent drop in second-quarter net income attributable to owners of the parent company to 3.545 billion Swedish kronor.

Nordea Bank AB said its second-quarter net profit decreased to 686 million euros from 771 million euros in the previous year.

Beckman Coulter, Inc., a subsidiary of diversified machinery maker Danaher Corp., agreed to acquire the clinical microbiology business of Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics, a unit of German conglomerate Siemens AG.

European stocks posted strong gains on Wednesday as investors cheered positive Chinese growth and U.K. jobs data as well as upbeat comments on the U.S. economy by Fed Chair Yellen. Portuguese banks led financial stocks higher amid news that ailing lender Banco Espirito Santo SA may raise 2 billion euros ($2.7 billion) from new shareholders. The German DAX rallied 1.4 percent, France's CAC 40 advanced 1.5 percent and the FTSE of the U.K. added 1.1 percent.

U.S. stocks rose overnight, with sentiment underpinned by better-than-expected Chinese economic data, upbeat earnings from Intel and merger-and-acquisition news. On the economic front, solid manufacturing and housing data stoked fears of an early interest rate hike even as Fed Chair Janet Yellen's comments on the second day of testimony mirrored those she delivered the previous day. The Dow rose half a percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq added 0.2 percent and the S&P 500 gained 0.4 percent.

Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX

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