The French market is higher in afternoon trading Wednesday, following firm cues from Asia and the U.S. overnight. Sentiment in the region was also influenced by some earnings news and broker recommendations amid S&P upgrading Greece's debt rating.
Standard and Poor's said it is raising the long-term foreign and local currency debt ratings on Greece to 'CCC/C' from 'selective default' following the completion of the "distressed" debt exchange. The outlook on the long-term rating is 'stable' reflecting S&P's view of the government's stated commitment to improving its fiscal track record.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is adding 0.07 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. Companies, is advancing 0.70 percent.
The CAC 40 index is currently adding 0.83 percent.
STMicroelectronics is climbing 4.1 percent. Citigroup and Goldman Sachs raised their ratings on the stock.
Cement giant Lafarge is up 2.8 percent. Speed train maker Alstom is up 2.2 percent.
Carmaker Peugeot is advancing 2.5 percent while Renault is losing 0.7 percent.
Societe Generale is advancing 2.4 percent. Credit Agricole and BNP Paribas are losing 0.7 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively.
Veolia Environnement is losing 2.6 percent.
Elsewhere in Europe, the German DAX is climbing 0.38 percent and Switzerland's SMI is adding 0.80 percent. The UK's FTSE 100 index is losing 0.42 percent.
In economic news, Germany's unemployment rate remained stable at 6.8 percent in April, the Federal Labor Agency said. Economists had forecast the jobless rate to remain unchanged compared to March's initial estimate of 6.7 percent.
Unemployment rate in euro area increased to new record high in March, the latest figures from Eurostat revealed. The seasonally adjusted jobless rate rose to 10.9 percent in March from 10.8 percent in February, in line expectations. Meanwhile, Eurozone manufacturing sector contracted more than initially estimated for April, Markit Economics said.
China's factory sector contracted for a sixth consecutive month in April, but the pace of deterioration in activity was slower than estimated initially, detailed survey report from Markit Economics revealed. The Shanghai Composite Index climbed about 1.8 percent.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng added around 1 percent on the day. Australia's All Ordinaries rose 0.17 percent and Japan's Nikkei 225 gained 0.31 percent.
In the U.S., futures point to a lower open on Wall Street ahead of the ADP National Employment report. In the previous session, the major averages pulled back well off their highs for the session but managed to end the day in positive territory. The Dow rose 0.5 percent, the Nasdaq edged up 0.1 percent and the S&P 500 climbed 0.6 percent.
In the commodity space, crude for June delivery is falling $0.40 to $105.76 per barrel while June gold is losing $8.5 to $1653.9 a troy ounce.
by RTT Staff Writer
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