German shares are little changed with a positive bias on Wednesday as optimism for fresh stimulus measures waned before policy decisions by the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank. Mixed earnings reports and weak euro-area manufacturing data also prompted investors to remain on the sidelines.
The downturn in the eurozone manufacturing sector gathered momentum at the start of the third quarter, final data from Markit Economics showed today. The manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index fell more than initially estimated to 44 in July from 45.1 in June. This represented the fastest rate of contraction in 37 months and also the 12th straight months of contraction.
Closer home, Germany's manufacturing sector contracted more than initially estimated in July, with the rate of fall accelerating from the previous month, separate data from Markit Economics and BME showed, The seasonally adjusted purchasing managers' index for the manufacturing sector dropped to 43 in July from 45 in June.
The benchmark German DAX is currently up less than 0.1 percent at 6,776, while France's CAC 40 is gaining 0.33 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 is up 0.64 percent.
Henkel AG & Co. KGaA is rising 1.4 percent after the detergent maker reported higher profit and revenue for the second quarter, driven by good performance in emerging markets.
Deutsche Bank AG is declining 1.7 percent after the lender announced 1,900 job cuts as part of its efforts to realize savings of about 3 billion euros. Rival Commerzbank is down half a percent.
BMW Group is tumbling 4.7 percent as it reported a 28 percent decline in profit for the second quarter, despite higher revenues and sales volume, owing partly to higher costs and a benefit last year. The firm reaffirmed the targets for 2012.
Shares of Daimler are down 1.8 percent and Volkswagen is moving down 0.6 percent.
Elsewhere, Asian markets turned in a mixed performance as weaker-than-expected Chinese manufacturing data undermined the fragile state of the world economy. Commodities are trading mixed, as the euro held steady against the dollar ahead of Fed decision tonight and the ECB meeting tomorrow.
by RTT Staff Writer
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