The European markets are in positive territory in afternoon trading Tuesday with defensive stocks in demand, even as debt concerns continued to haunt investor sentiment. The Asian markets mostly fell as relief over the bailout for Spanish banks gave way to skepticism.
The European Central Bank as well as the 17 national central banks in the currency bloc should be empowered to monitor and supervise banks with cross-border presence, Governing Council member Christian Noyer wrote in an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal.
"But a true financial union must extend to all banking institutions, whatever their size," Noyer, who is also the governor of Bank of France said.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is adding 0.70 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is gaining 0.74 percent.
The German DAX is advancing 0.47 percent and the French CAC 40 is gaining 0.34 percent. The FTSE 100 of the UK is advancing 0.36 percent and Switzerland's SMI is rising 0.41 percent.
In Frankfurt, E.ON is gaining 2.5 percent after UBS raised the stock to "Buy" from "Neutral." RWE is gaining 1.7 percent.
Societe Generale raised Deutsche Bank to "Buy" from "Hold." The stock is up around 1 percent. Peer Commerzbank is declining 1.6 percent.
In Paris, Lafarge is rising 1.2 percent. The cement giant unveiled plans aimed at driving growth in sales, cash generation and return on capital through 2015, including cost savings of 1.30 billion euros and EBITDA improvement of at least 450 million euros.
Among lenders, BNP Paribas is flat while Societe Generale is down 0.2 percent and Credit Agricole is falling 1 percent. Insurer Axa is losing 1.1 percent.
Air France-KLM is up 0.3 percent. HSBC initiated the stock with an "Overweight" rating.
Peugeot is losing 2.9 percent and Renault is falling 0.8 percent.
Liquor company Rémy Cointreau said full year profit climbed 57 percent, driven by strong demand for cognacs in Asia as well as sales growth in all other regions. The stock is up 1 percent.
In London, Fresnillo is gaining 2.2 percent and Randgold Resources is advancing 1.3 percent.
ICAP is advancing 2.6 percent. Admiral Group is gaining 1.9 percent.
British American Tobacco is adding 1.6 percent. Unilever and Vodafone are notably higher.
RPC Group is falling 7 percent after the rigid plastic packaging supplier said its outlook for the short term is "contending with a difficult and uncertain macro-economic environment."
easyJet was cut to "Neutral" from "Overweight" at HSBC. The shares are falling 2.7 percent.
Credit Suisse is falling 1.4 percent in Zurich after Societe Generale cut the stock to "Sell" from "Hold." Julius Baer is adding 2.7 percent on a positive recommendation from UBS.
Holcim is losing 1.1 percent after stating that it is on track to achieve sustainability targets.
In economic news, U.K. manufacturing output dipped 0.7 percent month-on-month in April, reversing March's 0.9 percent rise, the Office for National Statistics said. The decline far exceeded economists' forecast of 0.1 percent fall.
Across Asia/Pacific, most major markets ended lower. China's Shanghai Composite Index declined 0.70 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.4 percent and Japan's Nikkei 225 retreated 1 percent. However, bucking the trend, Australia's All Ordinaries added 0.2 percent as trading resumed after a holiday yesterday.
In the U.S., futures point to a higher open on Wall Street. In the previous session, stocks finished sharply lower as optimism about an aid package to Spain gave way early in the session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 1.1 percent, the S&P 500 retreated 1.3 percent and the Nasdaq fell 1.7 percent.
In the commodity space, crude for July delivery is sliding $0.25 to $82.45 per barrel and August gold is falling $4.3 to $1592.5 a troy ounce.
by RTT Staff Writer
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