European Bourses Shrug Off S&P EU Debt Downgrade, Focus on Data

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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 51.9.

A measure of manufacturing in Germany rose to 54.2 this month, also beating estimates. Readings above 50 mean that activity increased.

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' forecasts.

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 ( ALU ) 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 year.

Carnival ( CCL ) rose on better-than-expected Q4 results, reported late Thursday.

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.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: ALU , CCL

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