The European markets are in positive territory in afternoon trading Tuesday, after data showed an unexpected improvement in consumer morale in Europe's largest economy, amid concerns that the meeting of European leaders in Brussels later in the week may not produce any strategy to contain the debt crisis in the region.
Demand for Spanish short-term debt declined on Tuesday, while the country's borrowing costs continued to climb at an auction. The Spanish Treasury raised 3.08 billion euros from the sale of its 3- and 6-month bills. The target set for the auction was between 2 billion euros and 3 billion euros.
The auction came a day after Moody's Investors Service downgraded the long-term debt and deposit ratings for 28 of the 33 rated Spanish banks and two issuer ratings, citing the reduced creditworthiness of the Spanish sovereign, and the expectation that the banks' exposures to commercial real estate would likely cause higher losses.
Italy also saw its borrowing costs climb to the highest level since December at a short-term debt auction, reflecting doubts among investors about the outcome of the upcoming European summit.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is adding 0.38 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is gaining 0.51 percent.
The German DAX is rising 0.18 percent and the French CAC 40 is adding 0.23 percent. The UK's FTSE 100 is advancing 0.29 percent. Switzerland's SMI is edging up 0.01 percent.
In Frankfurt, RWE is gaining 2.6 percent and E.ON is adding 2.4 percent. Merrill Lynch upgraded both stocks.
Fresenius is climbing 1.8 percent. Deutsche Telekom and Deutsche Boerse are advancing 1.2 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively.
Deutsche Bank is rising 1.4 percent while Commerzbank is losing 0.5 percent.
BMW is declining 3.1 percent. Citigroup cut the stock to "Neutral" from "Buy." Volkswagen and Daimler are falling 2 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively.
Infineon Technologies and HeidelbergCement are falling 1.4 percent each.
In Paris, Vivendi is losing 1.4 percent. Essilor International is declining 1.2 percent.
Peugeot is falling 1.1 percent and Renault is losing 0.8 percent.
PPR, Air Liquide, EADS and EDF are seeing moderate losses.
Lenders BNP Paribas, Societe Generale and Credit Agricole are moderately up.
Veolia Environnement is advancing 1.5 percent and Michelin is rising 1.1 percent.
Merrill Lynch raised GDF Suez to "Buy" from "Neutral." The stock is adding 0.9 percent.
In London, Anglo American is up 1.1 percent and Rio Tinto is gaining 1.2 percent. Kazakhmys is rising 2.1 percent.
Chemicals firm Croda International is gaining around 3 percent, reportedly on a broker upgrade.
Public transport operator Stagecoach Group reported a higher profit for fiscal year 2012. The stock is up 5.6 percent.
Ocado is declining close to 20 percent. The online supermarket said its third quarter is particularly hard to forecast due to some disruption from the Jubilee events.
Royal Bank of Scotland is declining 3.3 percent. Barclays and Lloyds Banking are losing moderately.
Serco Group is falling 3.5 percent after issuing a trading statement.
Belgian brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev confirmed that it is in talks to buy the remainder of Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo S.A.B. de C.V., owner of the Corona Extra beer. The stock is up 1.1 percent in Brussels.
Banco Bilbao and Banco Santander are in positive territory in Madrid.
Enel is up 0.9 percent in Milan. Merrill Lynch upgraded the stock to "Neutral" from "Underperform."
In economic news, German consumer morale is set to improve in July as rising income expectations outweighed concerns over escalating tensions in Eurozone, the latest survey results from the market research group GfK showed.
Uncertainty surrounding the Greek elections and the Spanish banking rescue at the time of the survey, nonetheless, dampened Germans' economic expectations in June to a 6-month low.
Across Asia/Pacific, markets fell broadly as concerns persisted about the EU summit. Australia's All Ordinaries fell 0.4 percent, China's Shanghai Composite Index edged down 0.1 percent and Japan's Nikkei 225 lost 0.81 percent. However, Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.5 percent.
In the U.S., futures point to a higher open on Wall Street. In the previous session, lingering concerns about the ongoing European debt crisis weighed on the markets. The Dow fell 1.1 percent, the Nasdaq tumbled 2 percent and the S&P 500 slid 1.6 percent.
In the commodity space, crude for August delivery is rising $0.02 to $79.23 per barrel while August gold is falling $4.0 to $1584.4 a troy ounce.
by RTT Staff Writer
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