The German market rose on Tuesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke hinted Monday that the Fed's accommodative policies would continue. The Asian markets mostly rallied on firm cues from the U.S. and futures indicate a higher open on Wall Street.
Bernanke said the U.S. unemployment rate has declined faster than the Fed predicted but cautioned that the jobs market remains far from normal. Speaking at the National Association for Business Economics Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., Bernanke assured that the Fed's zero-interest rate policy and other support measures will help reduce unemployment over time by promoting economic growth.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is climbing 0.45 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. Companies, is rising 0.20 percent.
The DAX index opened higher and is currently climbing 0.65 percent.
Lufthansa is leading the gainers by adding 4.1 percent after JPMorgan upgraded the stock to "Overweight" from "Neutral.".
Merck is up 2.2 percent and Basf is gaining 1.8 percent. Linde is adding 0.2 percent after JPMorgan raised the stock to "Overweight" from "Neutral."
Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank are advancing 2 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively.
Volkswagen and Daimler are gaining 1.6 percent and 1.2 percent, in that order. BMW is up 0.7 percent.
Morgan Stanley raised Henkel to "Overweight" from "Underweight." The stock is up 0.2 percent.
Singulus Technologies is climbing 5.5 percent. The manufacturer of optical disc production lines reported a profit for its fiscal 2011, compared to prior year's loss.
Dialog Semiconductor is falling 1 percent. Exane BNP initiated the stock with a "Neutral" rating.
Hochtief is declining 6 percent. Hungary reportedly lifted a local tax exemption for Budapest Airport, where Hochtief has a 50 percent stake.
Elsewhere in Europe, the French CAC 40 is climbing 0.19 percent and the UK's FTSE 100 is rising 0.13 percent. Switzerland's SMI is gaining 0.25 percent.
In economic news, Germany's consumer confidence is set to drop in April, a survey by market research group GfK showed. The forward-looking consumer sentiment index came in at 5.9, down slightly from 6 points in March. Economists were expecting it to remain stable at 6 points.
Across Asia/Pacific, markets ended mostly higher on hopes of further stimulus from the Fed. Australia's All Ordinaries gained 0.84 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 1.8 percent and Japan's Nikkei 225 climbed 2.36 percent. However, China's Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.15 percent.
In the U.S., futures point to a higher open on Wall Street. In the previous session, the major averages closed firmly in positive territory as traders reacted positively to remarks by Bernanke. The Dow jumped 1.2 percent, the Nasdaq soared 1.8 percent and the S&P 500 surged up 1.4 percent.
In the commodity space, crude for May delivery is adding $0.20 to $107.23 per barrel and April gold is rising $7.5 to $1693.1 a troy ounce.
by RTT Staff Writer
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