The European markets are higher on Thursday, following the previous session's sharp sell-off, after Germany's unemployment rate dropped and Eurozone inflation slowed more than expected in May. Sentiment was also influenced by some broker comments. Oil stocks are trading higher.
European Central Bank president Mario Draghi has reportedly said that the eurozone setup is unsustainable and that leaders have to decide what they want the bloc to be in future. The central bank cannot fill the "vacuum" left by governments, Draghi warned.
As Ireland votes in a referendum, opinion polls seem to be showing that the country will back the new German-backed EU fiscal treaty. Results are expected by Friday afternoon.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is adding 0.77 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is gaining 0.62 percent.
The German DAX is advancing 0.43 percent and the French CAC 40 is adding 0.82 percent. The FTSE 100 is adding 0.87 percent and Switzerland's SMI is up 0.07 percent.
In Frankfurt, SAP is up 1.8 percent. UBS raised the business software maker to "Buy" from "Neutral."
Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank are moderately higher.
Volkswagen is notably higher and Daimler is modestly up. BMW is in negative territory.
HeidelbergCement is up 0.3 percent. The stock was downgraded to "Equalweight" from "Overweight" at Morgan Stanley.
Chemicals firm Lanxess is up about 1 percent. Commerzbank raised the stock to "Buy" from "Add."
Deutsche Post is losing 1.5 percent.
In Paris, STMicroelectronics is climbing 2.9 percent, followed by Cap Gemini, which is up 2.8 percent.
BNP Paribas is gaining 2.4 percent. Societe Generale is rising 1.6 percent and Credit Agricole is advancing moderately.
Peugeot is gaining 1.3 percent and Renault is adding 0.9 percent.
In London, BG Group is climbing 1.8 percent and Royal Dutch Shell is advancing 1.3 percent. Tullow Oil is up 2 percent.
InterContinental Hotels Group is advancing 4 percent.
Kingfisher is gaining 1.1 percent. The home improvement retailer said its retail profit and sales for the first quarter declined from last year, hurt by poor weather in the UK and Europe as well as adverse foreign currency translation.
Asset manager Man Group and software firm Sage Group are gaining 2.2 percent each.
Canadian IT company CGI Group Inc. has agreed to acquire Logica for 105 pence per share in cash. Logica shares are soaring over 64 percent.
Admiral Group is losing nearly 3 percent, following a regulatory decision to refer private motor insurance market to the Competition Commission.
Thomas Cook is declining 8.6 percent after reporting a wider loss for the first half of the year..
ABB is falling 1.8 percent in Stockholm. The stock was reduced to "Neutral" from "Outperform" at Exane BNP.
Ahold is up 1.6 percent after HSBC raised the stock to "Neutral" from "Overweight."
Morgan Stanley raised Telefonica to "Equalweight" from "Underweight." The stock is up 1.7 percent in Madrid.
In economic news, a report from the Federal Labor Agency showed that the number of unemployed in Germany remained unchanged in May. In April, the number of unemployed increased by a revised 18,000. Economists had forecast unemployment to decline by 7,000 persons this month.
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate edged down to 6.7 percent from 6.8 percent in April. Economists expected the rate to hold steady at 6.8 percent for a fifth straight month.
Eurozone inflation slowed more than expected in May, flash estimates from Eurostat showed. Annual inflation fell to 2.4 percent from 2.6 percent in April, slightly below the expected rate of 2.5 percent.
Fears concerning Europe hurt markets across Asia/Pacific too. Additionally, Xinhua said there was no plan to introduce stimulus measures of the scale unleashed during the depths of the global financial crisis in 2008 to revive growth.
Australia's All Ordinaries slid 0.4 percent, China's Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.5 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 0.3 percent. Japan's Nikkei 225 retreated 1.1 percent.
In the U.S., futures point to a higher open on Wall Street. In the previous session, stocks showed a substantial move back to the downside amid renewed concerns about the financial situation in Europe. The major averages posted steep losses on the day, offsetting Tuesday's gains. The Dow declined 1.3 percent, the Nasdaq dropped 1.2 percent and the S&P 500 retreated 1.4 percent.
In the commodity space, crude for July delivery is adding $0.16 to $87.98 per barrel and August gold is rising $1.2 to $1566.9 a troy ounce.
by RTT Staff Writer
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