European stocks are seen rising for a third consecutive session on Tuesday, as a slew of weak manufacturing data from China, Europe and the United States fueled speculation of more stimulus from major central banks, including the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Many analysts expect the European Central Bank to cut its main refinancing rate by 25 basis points to 0.75 percent at its policy meeting on Thursday, while the Bank of England is widely expected to pump another 50 billion into the ailing British economy to kick start a recovery. The Fed's next policy meeting is scheduled for July 31- August 1.
Asian stocks are trading broadly higher, commodities are gaining ground and the safe-haven yen weakened against major currencies amid expectations policymakers will take further policy steps to help spur weak global growth.
Meanwhile, after cutting interest rates in May and last month, the Reserve Bank of Australia has kept interest rates on hold, citing stronger economic data since the June decision and improving labor market conditions.
Closer home, confidence among British business firms remained lower than levels seen before the recession in 2007 constrained by weak domestic demand, the British Chambers of Commerce said in its latest Quarterly Economic Survey. In manufacturing, the balances measuring confidence in turnover and profitability rose in the second quarter of 2012, but in services, both balances remain unchanged on the last quarter.
In corporate news, British healthcare major GlaxoSmithKline Plc in a landmark settlement agreed to pay $3 billion to the U.S. government and various states to close federal investigations of marketing malpractices in what is said to be the largest healthcare fraud in history.
The National Bank of Greece confirmed that it was in talks with French lender Credit Agricole to take over its struggling Greek subsidiary Emporiki Bank.
Aerospace giant Airbus detailed plans to build a $600 million plant in Mobile, Alabama to produce A320 passenger planes.
Swiss company Addex Therapeutics said it has appointed Graham Dixon to the newly created position of Chief Scientific Officer and Head of Research.
MagForce AG announced its fiscal 2011 year results, with net loss for the year widening to EUR 8.59 million from EUR 7.45 million last year, mainly due to increased operating expenses.
Biotech company Pharming Group NV said that it has signed an agreement to sell the tangible assets of its U.S. operations.
European stocks finished to the upside on Monday, as continued optimism over results from an EU summit outweighed weak manufacturing results from China, Europe and the U.S. The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks rose 1.2 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, gained 1.6 percent. Around Europe, Switzerland's SMI, the FTSE 100 of the U.K., the DAX of Germany and France's CAC 40 rose between 0.7 percent and 1.4 percent.
U.S. stocks showed a lack of direction before ending on a mixed note overnight, with light trading activity ahead of the Independence holiday on Wednesday and data showing shrinking manufacturing activity in June for the first time in nearly three years contributing to the lackluster performance. The Dow edged down 0.1 percent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 0.6 percent and the S&P 500 added 0.3 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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