The European markets are trading higher in afternoon trading Tuesday, after second-quarter growth figures from the largest eurozone economy as well as France topped expectations. Asian stocks ended higher after the minutes of Bank of Japan's July 11-12 meeting showed that policy members are prepared to expand monetary stimulus to boost the economy.
The German gross domestic product rose 0.3 percent quarter-on-quarter in the second quarter, while expectations were for a 0.2 percent growth. Positive contributions came mainly from final consumption expenditure and net trade.
The French statistical office Insee said its GDP recorded no growth in the second quarter, as was the case in the past two quarters. Economists had forecast a 0.1 percent contraction.
Meanwhile, the Eurozone economy contracted in the second quarter as expected by economists, flash estimate from Eurostat showed.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is adding 0.33 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is gaining 0.39 percent.
The German DAX is advancing 0.72 percent and the French CAC 40 is climbing 0.26 percent. The UK's FTSE 100 is rising 0.33 percent and Switzerland's SMI is rising 0.30 percent.
In Frankfurt, Merck KgAa, which lifted full year outlook, is climbing 4.1 percent.
Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank are moderately rising.
Automakers are in positive territory.
HeidelbergCement and ThyssenKrupp are notably lower.
Salzgitter is advancing 1.8 percent as sales grew better-than expected in the second quarter, although the steel maker slipped to a loss.
Hochtief is falling 2 percent. The construction firm reported a loss for the second quarter.
RWE said its first-half net earnings remained almost flat with last year, as revenues were hurt by lower electricity and gas sales volume. The company also decided to prune about 2,400 positions globally as part of its cost saving initiatives. The stock is down 0.4 percent.
E.ON is flat. Commerzbank cut the stock to "Hold" from "Buy."
Kabel Deutschland is losing 1.7 percent after reporting first-quarter results.
In Paris, Tire maker Michelin is rising 1.3 percent, hotel group Accor is adding 1.1 percent and drugmaker Sanofi is advancing 1 percent.
PPR is losing 1.2 percent.
Credit Agricole and Societe Generale are losing moderately, while BNP Paribas is flat.
In London, ICAP and ITV are gaining about 1 percent each. Pennon Group is advancing 2.7 percent.
Marks & Spencer and J Sainsbury are rising 1.2 percent each. Kingfisher is losing 1.8 percent.
Severn Trent is rising 2.9 percent and United Utilities is rising 7.6 percent.
After reporting increased profit in the first half of the year, Standard Life is climbing 6.6 percent.
CRH, which reported first-half results, is declining 7.1 percent.
Denmark's container shipping company AP Moller-Maersk is up 1.6 percent in Copenhagen after the firm reported a 2 percent drop in second quarter profits, yet said it expects 2012 performance to be better than last year.
Deutsche Bank cut its rating on Julius Baer. The stock is declining 3.4 percent.
Across Asia/Pacific, Australia's All Ordinaries rose 0.2 percent and China's Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.3 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 1.1 percent and Japan's Nikkei 225 advanced 0.5 percent.
In the U.S., futures point to a higher open on Wall Street. In the previous session, the major averages finished the day mixed. While the Nasdaq edged up 0.1 percent, the Dow fell 0.3 percent and the S&P 500 dipped 0.1 percent.
In the commodity space, crude for September delivery is adding $0.22 to $92.95 per barrel and December gold is rising $1.2 to $1613.8 a troy ounce.
by RTT Staff Writer
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