European stocks are seen opening higher on Wednesday, as investors continue to bet on further monetary easing from major central banks to boost global growth. Nonetheless, investors may exercise caution ahead of central bank meetings tomorrow and the latest report on U.S. non-farm payrolls, due this Friday. Trading is likely to be thin due to the Independence Day holiday in the U.S.
Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund has issued a downbeat assessment of the U.S. economy and urged Washington's warring politicians to take steps to boost recovery and avoid a "fiscal cliff" at the end of the year.
Asian stocks are trading mostly higher, heading for the longest winning streak this year, while crude is subdued after an overnight rally. The euro weakened against major currencies ahead of meetings of the European Central Bank and Bank of England tomorrow.
In economic releases, falling food costs and easing commodity price pressures pulled down shop price inflation in the United Kingdom to its lowest level in two and a half years in June, the British Retail Consortium said in report published today. Overall shop price inflation slowed to 1.1 percent from 1.5 percent in May, while food inflation fell to 3.5 percent in June from 4.3 percent in the previous month.
A report on eurozone retail sales and Purchasing Managers' survey results from the U.K. are the other major statistical reports due in the European session.
In corporate news, British telecom giant Vodafone Plc is in advanced talks with Hutchison Whampoa for a merger of the two companies' Irish telecoms infrastructure, the Financial Times reported.
BMW Group reported U.S. sales of 27,720 vehicles in June, up 3.2 percent from the 26,865 vehicles sold in the same month a year ago.
GWB Immobilien AG announced that its management board has filed for insolvency proceedings at the competent local court in Reinbek.
Verizon Wireless, a joint venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone, announced that the 4G LTE-powered Samsung Galaxy S III will be available in Verizon Wireless Communications Stores and its website starting July 10.
European stocks rose on Tuesday, as weakening inflationary pressures fueled hopes of an interest rate cut by the ECB in Thursday's meeting. An upbeat U.S. factory orders report and continued speculation concerning additional stimulus measures from the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve also kept investors in a good mood.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks rose 1.2 percent and the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, added a percent, while around Europe, the U.K.'s FTSE 100, France's CAC 40, the DAX of Germany and Switzerland's SMI rose between 0.8 percent and 1.4 percent.
U.S. stocks ended a holiday-shortened session higher overnight, with a report from the Commerce Department showing a surprise jump in factory orders in May and news of strong June sales by U.S. automakers underpinning sentiment. Trading activity remained relatively subdued before the Independence Day holiday on Wednesday. The Dow and the S&P 500 rose about 0.6 percent each, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 0.8 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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