By RTT News, September 17, 2013, 07:25:00 AM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - The European markets are trading lower on Tuesday, despite some benign domestic data, amid speculation that the U.S. Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting beginning today may decide on a $10 billion reduction in the pace of its bond purchases to $75 billion.
In economic news, Germany's ZEW economic sentiment rose for the second straight month during September and at a faster-than-expected pace, to 49.6 from 42 in August. Economists had forecast a score of 45.
Meanwhile, data released by Eurostat showed that the visible trade surplus of euro area increased less than expected in July. The trade surplus increased to 18.2 billion euros from 16.5 billion euros in June, but was below the expected level of 20.5 billion euros and last year's 13.9 billion euros surplus.
U.K. annual inflation slowed for the second consecutive month in August, driven by a slowdown in transportation cost, data published by the Office for National Statistics showed. Inflation edged down to 2.7 percent from 2.8 percent in July, in line with economists' expectations.
The European Automobile Manufacturers' Association said Europe's new passenger car registrations declined in August reflecting downturn across significant markets. New car sales fell 5 percent from a year ago in August, offsetting July's 5 percent rise.
The U.K. was the only major market to expand, up 10.9 percent, while the German contracted by 5.5 percent. Registrations in France and Spain logged double-digit decline of 10.5 percent and 18.3 percent, respectively.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is declining 0.36 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is falling 0.56 percent.
The German DAX, the French CAC 40, the UK's FTSE 100 and Switzerland's SMI are falling between 0.2 percent and 0.5 percent.
In Frankfurt, Schaeffler AG has announced the placement of about 8 million shares in tire maker Continental, as the automotive and industrial supplier continues to reduce its debt. Continental is declining 3.7 percent.
K+S is declining 3.1 percent. Commerzbank and Deutsche bank are firmly in the red.
Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW are losing, following unimpressive data on car sales.
Car parts maker Rheinmetall is up around 1 percent after Commerzbank raised the stock to ''Buy'' from ''Hold.''
Biotechnology firm Qiagen is gaining 1.7 percent. UBS added the stock to ''Alpha Preferences Most Preferred List.''
In Paris, Total is declining 2.1 percent and Alstom is losing 1.5 percent.
Renault and Peugeot are declining 1.5 percent and 2.7 percent, respectively.
Sanofi is moderately higher after the European Commission granted marketing authorization for Genzyme's multiple sclerosis treatment Lemtrada.
In London, Aggreko is declining 3.6 percent, following a broker downgrade.
UBS reduced Glencore Xstrata to ''Neutral'' from ''Buy.'' The stock is falling 2.7 percent.
Lloyds Banking and Barclays are losing 2.4 percent each. The UK government sold 6 percent of stake in Lloyds Banking for $5.1 billion.
Utilities are on the rise. Severn Trent is gaining 3.5 percent and United Utilities is adding 2.3 percent.
Philips is losing 2.4 percent in Amsterdam after announcing new mid-term targets and share buyback.
Across Asia/Pacific, markets had a mixed outing, but gains were limited as the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision on tapering continues to weigh on investor sentiment.
In the U.S., futures point to a lower open on Wall Street. In the previous session, stocks ended mostly higher. The exit of former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers from the race to lead the Federal Reserve supported sentiment, lifting the Dow up 0.8 percent and the S&P 500 up 0.6 percent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq slipped 0.1 percent.
In the commodity space, crude for October delivery is losing $0.34 to $106.25 a troy ounce while December gold is sliding $0.4 to $1317.4 a troy ounce.
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