The European markets are mixed in afternoon trading Monday, amid concerns whether the European Central Bank will adopt bold anti-crisis measures. The Asian stocks ended mostly lower, after the Japanese economy slowed more than expected in the second quarter.
Japan's gross domestic product added just 0.3 percent in the second quarter compared to the previous three months, the Cabinet Office said in a preliminary reading, suggesting that the recovery from last year's earthquake and tsunami remains stuck in neutral. The headline figure missed forecasts for an increase of 0.6 percent, following the 1.6 percent gain in the first quarter.
Italy raised 8 billion euros through a 12-month bill auction, although the cost of borrowing was higher than at an earlier auction. Additionally, the Greek economy contracted less than expected in the second quarter.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is adding 0.48 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is gaining 0.03 percent.
While the German DAX and the French CAC 40 are moderately higher, the UK's FTSE 100 and the Swiss Market Index are fractionally lower.
In Frankfurt, Utilities RWE and E.ON are gaining around 1.3 percent each. E.ON said its first-half profit more than tripled, and confirmed its outlook for full year 2012.
Infineon is adding 0.2 percent, although Citigroup cut its rating on the stock.
Rheinmetall is falling 1.9 percent. Berenberg cut the stock to "Hold" from "Buy."
BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen are losing between 1 percent and 0.8 percent.
Solar World is plunging nearly 11 percent after stating that a positive operating earnings before interest and taxes are no longer possible in 2012.
In Paris, GDF Suez is advancing 1.4 percent. Water utility Veolia Environnement and insurer Axa are gaining around 1.3 percent each.
Societe Generale is rising 1.2 percent while BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole are moderately higher.
Technip is losing 1.9 percent. Cement giant Lafarge, which received a broker downgrade, is falling 1.5 percent.
In London, Petrofac is losing 5.4 percent. The firm said its year-on-year growth in net profit in the second half would be lower than in the first half of the year.
Standard Chartered is gaining 1.5 percent amid talks of a settlement with New York regulators on the Iran transactions.
Vedanta is losing 1.9 percent. Rio into and BHP Billiton are moderately lower.
Michael Page is falling 1.4 percent after reporting lower profit for the first half. The staffing firm warned that it anticipates a challenging second half.
Julius Baer is falling 5.5 percent in Zurich. The lender agreed to buy Merrill Lynch's international wealth management business outside the United States from Bank of America Corp.
Telenet is gaining 2.9 percent in Brussels after the firm announced share buy-back.
Across Asia/Pacific, markets had a mixed outing. China's Shanghai Composite Index retreated 1.5 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng slid 0.3 percent and Japan's Nikkei 225 slipped 0.07 percent. However, Australia's All Ordinaries added around 0.2 percent.
In the U.S., futures point to a marginally higher on wall street. In the previous session, stocks shrugged off morning weakness to finish slightly higher, as weak Chinese trade as well as bank-lending data spurred fresh hopes of more central bank stimulus. The Dow rose 0.3 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq gained marginally and the S&P 500 ended 0.2 percent up.
In the commodity space, crude for September delivery is adding $0.77 to $93.64 per barrel and December gold is rising $3 to $1625.8 a troy ounce.
by RTT Staff Writer
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