German stocks edged lower on Wednesday, as investors adopted a cautious stance ahead of central bank meetings tomorrow and the U.S. jobs report set to be released Friday. Trading volumes slipped due to the Independence Day holiday in the U.S.
The benchmark German DAX is currently down 36 points or 0.55 percent at 6,542, while France's CAC 40 is retreating 0.41 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 is moving down 0.24 percent and Switzerland's SMI is down 0.17 percent.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is declining 0.49 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is losing 0.32 percent.
Commodities such as copper and crude recouped some of their early losses as the euro rebounded amid the release of eurozone retail sales data. Retail sales in eurozone increased unexpectedly in May, partly reversing previous month's decline, the latest figures from Eurostat showed.
Banks Deutsche Bank and Commerezbank are down 1-2 percent after the European Central Bank yesterday tightened the limit on the amount of government guaranteed debt that banks can use as collateral in return for loans.
Bayer is moving down 0.65 percent after its CropScience agricultural unit signed a pact to acquire California-based peer AgraQuest Inc for $425 million plus milestone payments.
BMW Group is rising half a percent as it 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. Volkswagen is trading marginally higher and Daimler is up 0.15 percent.
In economic news, contraction in German private sector activity in June deepened more than estimated earlier, detailed results of a survey by Markit Economics revealed. The composite output index, that measures the performance of both manufacturing and service sectors, fell to 48.1 in the month from 49.3 in May, with the latest reading indicating reduction in private sector output at the steepest pace in three years. The flash survey results showed a reading of 48.5.
Elsewhere, Asian markets ended mostly higher on speculation of more stimulus measures from the Chinese and European central banks. The ECB and the Bank of England are scheduled to announce their policy decisions tomorrow and investors are seemingly banking on them to deliver further stimulus measures to help spur weak global growth. The Chinese and Hong Kong markets slipped marginally.
by RTT Staff Writer
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