The UK market turned negative on Friday, reversing from earlier gains that stemmed from firm cues from Asia and a strong rally in the U.S. overnight after a report in The Wall Street Journal said that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke would act soon to quell investor fear on stimulus tapering.
Bernanke is scheduled to appear on Capitol Hill on July 17 and 18 to deliver his semi-annual 'Humphrey Hawkins' testimony. This will give the Fed Chief another chance to introduce some clarity on the issue of stimulus.
Bernanke is likely to confirm that the Fed expects a considerable amount of time between ending the bond-buying program and raising short-term rates, the report added.
Closer home, Eurozone's annual inflation accelerated in May as initially estimated, final data released by statistical office Eurostat showed. Meanwhile, employment fell notably in the first quarter.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is adding 0.14 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is falling 0.27 percent.
The FTSE 100 index is currently losing 0.2 percent.
Smith & Nephew is losing 1.2 percent and Bunzl is falling 1.1 percent.
Royal Bank of Scotland and HSBC Holdings are down 1 percent each.
Petrofac is gaining 3.3 percent and British Land is adding 2.7 percent.
Glencore Xstrata is gaining 2.6 percent after entering $17.34 billion revolving credit facilities.
Polar Capital is gaining 6.7 percent after full year profit rose.
Elsewhere in Europe, the German DAX, the UK's FTSE 100 and Switzerland's SMI are in positive territory.
Across Asia/Pacific, markets ended higher. Australia's All Ordinaries and Japan's Nikkei 225 added 1.9 percent each. China's Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.6 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.4 percent.
In the U.S., futures point to a mixed open on Wall Street, ahead of economic reports on producer prices, industrial production and consumer sentiment.
In the previous session, stocks gained ground, as a pair of upbeat reports on first-time claims for unemployment benefits and retail sales helped investors shrug off sharp losses elsewhere in Asia. The Dow rose 1.2 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 1.3 percent and the S&P 500 added 1.5 percent.
In the commodity space, crude for July delivery is adding $0.34 to $97.03 per barrel and August gold is rising $1.6 to $1379.4 a troy ounce.
by RTT Staff Writer
For comments and feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org