European stocks are seen opening largely unchanged on Tuesday as doubts over whether the ECB will buy substantial volumes of Italian and Spanish bonds to stimulate growth linger. With expectations for strong action growing and Germany repeating its opposition to ECB bond buying, there is scope for disappointment.
The Governing Council of the European Central Bank as well as the Monetary Policy Committee of Bank of England will hold their monthly monetary policy review on Thursday, while the Federal Open Market Committee holds its two-day policy meeting starting today.
Meanwhile, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and his German counterpart Wolfgang Schaeuble held informal talks on the ongoing eurozone debt crisis yesterday. After their talks, the two finance ministers issued a joint statement reaffirming their commitment to stabilizing the global economy. They also pledged to "continue to cooperate closely" to achieve the common objective.
On the macroeconomic front, an index measuring consumer confidence in the United Kingdom came in with a score of -29 in July, a GfK NOP survey revealed. The index measuring personal finances over the last 12 months was unchanged at -23, although the index measuring finances over the next 12 months improved from -9 to -8 for finances over the next 12 months. Expectations for the general economic situation over the next 12 months moved up from -31 to -30.
In corporate news, ConAgra Foods, Inc. said that it has agreed to buy the Bertolli and P.F. Chang's Home Menu frozen meals businesses from Unilever Plc for $265 million in cash.
Eutelsat Communications, the holding company of Eutelsat S.A., reported net income of EUR326.1 million for its fiscal year ended June 30, 2012, down 3.7 percent from EUR338.5 million in the previous fiscal year.
German lender Commerzbank AG said it reached an agreement with Ukrainian Smart Group on the sale of its stake of about 96 percent in Ukraine's Bank Forum.
HeidelbergCement AG reported a higher profit for its second-quarter, benefited by growth in sales volumes in North America and Asia as well as successful price increases.
Wirecard AG reported preliminary second-quarter revenue of EUR 94.1 million, up over 20 percent from EUR 78 million reported for the second quarter of last year.
Automaker Chrysler Group Llc swung to a profit in the second quarter, helped mostly by robust sales in the U.S. and due to the absence of debt charges recorded last year.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and AstraZeneca Plc announced the results of analyses showing that Onglyza 5 mg demonstrated improvements across key measures of blood sugar control compared to placebo in adult patients with type 2 diabetes at high risk for cardiovascular disease.
Royal Imtech N.V. posted first-half profit attributable to shareholders of 62.0 million euros versus 60.7 million euros a year ago.
Bayer's second-quarter 2012 group net income slid to 0.49 billion euros from 0.75 billion euros in the year-ago quarter, impacted by special items of 0.8 billion euros, that included risk provisions of 0.5 billion euros for litigations.
Infineon Technologies AG said it expects full-year 2012 revenue to fall approximately by about 3 percent from the previous year, reflecting lower revenue in the IPC and PMM segments and decreasing product and service sales in connection with the previously sold Wireline Communications and Wireless mobile phone businesses.
Munich-based DAB bank Group reported a 20 percent rise in second-quarter 2012 pre-tax profit to 7.49 million euros from 6.24 million euros in the year-ago period.
European stocks finished firmly in positive territory on Monday on hopes that Eurozone policy makers will act decisively to resolve the region's debt crisis after German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti vowed to defend the euro.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks and the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, rose about 1.6 percent each, while around Europe, Switzerland's SMI, the U.K.'s FTSE 100, France's CAC 40 and the German DAX gained between 0.6 percent and 1.3 percent.
U.S. stocks ended a choppy session modestly lower overnight, as traders awaited the outcome from central bank meetings this week. The Dow ended down less than 0.1 percent and the S&P500 dipped less than a point, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq slid 0.4 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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