European stocks are seen opening lower on Monday, with investors likely to turn their attention to Spain after European Central Bank policymaker Ewald Nowotny said the nation would have to apply for a rescue package before qualifying for the central bank's bond-buying program.
Thousands of Spanish and Portuguese protesters took to the streets of Madrid and Lisbon over the weekend to protest against tougher austerity measures in the debt-hit countries, suggesting the Eurozone debt crisis still has a long way to go before it ends.
Asian markets are trading on a lackluster note amid concerns that the Fed's latest bond buying program may fuel inflationary pressures in Asian countries. China's Shanghai Composite index is losing a percent on growth concerns, while the markets in Japan and Malaysia are shut for public holidays.
Singapore's non-oil domestic exports declined more than expected in August due to decrease in both electronic and non-electronic shipments, data released by International Enterprise Singapore showed today. Exports slid 10.6 percent from a year earlier following a revised 5.7 percent increase in July.
Closer home, house prices in the U.K. fell for a second consecutive month in August, recording the biggest-ever fall for the month as home buyers disengaged themselves from property search during key Olympic events, property tracking website Rightmove said. The average asking price fell 0.6 percent from the previous month in September after declining 2.4 percent in August. On a yearly basis, prices were up 0.7 percent after adding 2.0 percent in the previous month.
Looking ahead, external trade and current account date from Eurozone are due later in the European session. The euro area current account surplus is seen at EUR 15 billion in July compared to EUR 15.7 billion in June, while trade surplus is forecast to rise to EUR 15 billion in the month from EUR 14.9 billion in the previous month.
In corporate news, Airbus parent European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co. N.V., which is priming for a possible 30 billion pound or $49 billion merger with British defense contractor BAE Systems Plc., is making political concessions to pave the way for the potential merger with BAE, according to a report in the Financial Times Deutschland.
Vodafone Group Plc. might make a provision of $2.2 billion to cover some tax risks in India, as a result of a law change in the South Asian country, Bloomberg reported, citing an interview with the telecom giant's Chief Financial Officer Andy Halford. The company is consulting on the need for such a provision and a decision will be made by November, the report said.
European stocks rallied on Friday, with banks, miners and automakers turning in strong performances, after the U.S. Federal Reserve came through with a third round of quantitative easing that investors had been hoping for.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of Eurozone bluechip stocks climbed 2 percent and the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, gained 0.8 percent, while around Europe, Switzerland's SMI, the German DAX, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 and France's CAC 40 rose between 0.7 percent and 2.3 percent.
U.S. shares rose modestly to reach new multi-year highs on Friday, with the Federal Reserve's decision on Thursday to stimulate the world's largest economy and an upbeat reading on U.S. consumer sentiment underpinning sentiment. The Dow and the S&P 500 rose about 0.4 percent each, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq added 0.9 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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