European shares inched up despite a S&P downgrade of the
European Union's debt.
S&P removed the European Union's top-level AAA long-term
credit rating, taking it down a peg to AA+, citing "the overall
weaker creditworthiness of the EU's 28 member states."
Instead, investors focused on data. Markit Economics' purchasing
managers' index climbed to 52.7, beating the median estimate of
A measure of manufacturing in Germany rose to 54.2 this month,
also beating estimates. Readings above 50 mean that activity
GfK's forward-looking consumer sentiment indicator for Germany
also rose to 7.6 points in January from 7.4 points in December,
which is the highest level since August 2007 and beat economists'
Meanwhile, French business confidence in the manufacturing
sector rose to 100 in Insee's monthly survey in December.
Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had expected the
indicator to remain unchanged from the previous month, at 98.
UK Q3 GDP rose by 1.9% compared with the same period in 2012,
the Office for National Statistics said, a revision upwards of 0.4
percentage points on its previous estimate. Its initial estimate
for Q3 over Q2 stayed unchanged at 0.8%.
In ADR news, Alcatel-Lucent (
) says it will sell its LGS Innovations satellite-communications
subsidiary for as much as $200 million to a U.S. company owned by a
Madison Dearborn Partners-led investor group that includes
technology investor CoVant. Half of the price will be paid when
private-equity firm Madison Dearborn completes the LGS purchase in
Q1, and the remainder will depend on the business's earnings next
) rose on better-than-expected Q4 results, reported late
The FTSE-100 was last up 0.33% at 6,606.58, the DAX up 0.69% at
9,400.18 and CAC-40 up 0.4% at 4,193.77.
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