German stocks rose for a third consecutive session on Tuesday, as investors bet that Europe's worsening debt crisis and slowing global growth will prompt major central banks to launch another round of monetary stimulus. All eyes are now on Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke as he gives his semi-annual testimony to Congress later in the day.
Meanwhile, Spain's borrowing costs declined but remained high at the first debt auction since the government announced a EUR 65 billion austerity package last week. The Spanish Treasury today sold a total EUR 3.56 billion of 12- and 18-month bills, slightly exceeding the target of EUR 2.5 billion - EUR 3.5 billion set for the sale.
The benchmark German DAX is currently up 26 points or 0.39 percent at 6,592, while France's CAC 40 is rising 0.38 percent and Switzerland's SMI is up 0.4 percent. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 is declining 0.28 percent, with building supplies group Wolseley down 3.4 percent, after it warned of ongoing 'difficult market conditions' in continental Europe.
Automakers are gaining ground in Frankfurt even as data showed new car registrations in Europe fell 2.8 percent in June. Volkswagen is gaining 1.4 percent, Daimler is adding a percent and BMW is up a modest 0.3 percent. Among banks, Commerzbank is marginally lower, while Deutsche Bank is moving down 0.2 percent.
Deutiz is gaining 1.9 percent after announcing preliminary results for the second quarter of 2012. VITA 34 is edging up 0.2 percent after it appointed André Gerth as its Chief Executive Officer with immediate effect. Deutsche Boerse AG is declining 0.7 percent after Commerzbank reduced its target price on the stock.
In economic releases, a measure of German investor sentiment declined for the third month in a row in July, results of a survey revealed. The ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment dropped to minus 19.6 points from minus 16.9 in June. That was slightly better than economists' forecast for a score of minus 20.
Elsewhere, Asian markets ended mostly higher, as stimulus expectations and earnings optimism outweighed the news of the Italian bank downgrades. Commodities such as crude and copper edged higher and the euro firmed up against the dollar on continued optimism about the likelihood of further stimulus from major central banks led by China and the United States.
The Dow futures are rising 49 points ahead of a slew of corporate earnings reports from the likes of Coca-Cola, Goldman Sachs Group, Johnson & Johnson, Intel and Yahoo Inc.
by RTT Staff Writer
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