By RTT News,
December 18, 2013, 06:29:00 AM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - The European markets are trading higher on Wednesday, after German business sentiment improved in December in line with economists' expectations. That said, investors remained cautious, waiting for the outcome of the FOMC meeting and Chairman Ben Bernanke's final quarterly news conference before initiating fresh long positions.
Reports citing survey results published by the Ifo Institute showed that Germany's headline business climate index rose to 109.5 in December from 109.3 in November. The reading matched economists' forecasts.
Eurozone finance ministers Tuesday agreed to disburse 1 billion euros of bailout installment to Greece as part of the third review of the country's economic adjustment program. The ministers, who concluded their meeting early Wednesday, claimed some progress in the banking resolution talks.
Policymakers of the Bank of England unanimously decided to maintain the interest rate at 0.50 percent and quantitative easing at 375 billion pounds, the minutes of the meeting held on December 4 and 5 showed.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is adding 0.85 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is gaining 0.82 percent.
The German DAX is gaining around 1 percent. Switzerland's SMI is adding 0.9 percent, the French CAC 40 is gaining 0.6 percent and the UK's FTSE 100 is rising 0.3 percent.
In Frankfurt, tire maker Continental is gaining 2.1 percent and Henkel is advancing 1.5 percent.
Infineon Technologies and ThyssenKrupp are adding 1.4 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively.
TUI, which reported results, is gaining 4.2 percent.
In Paris, GDF Suez is gaining 3.5 percent. STMicroelectronics and Renault are rising 1.7 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.
Renault is up 1.5 percent while Peugeot is up around 1 percent.
Technip, which sees subsea revenue for 2014 in the range of 4.35 billion euros to 4.75 billion euros, is declining 6.2 percent.
In London, Centrica is gaining 2.2 percent and Persimmon is up around 2 percent.
BP is notably higher after announcing a significant discovery in the Gulf of Mexico.
Darty is gaining close to 5 percent. The firm reported a loss for the first half of the year, but remains confident to deliver an improvement in earnings over the medium term.
Marks & Spencer is losing 3.5 percent. UBS cut the stock to ''Neutral'' from ''Buy.''
Elektrobit, which raised annual profit outlook, is surging over 15 percent in Helsinki.
The Asian stocks ended mixed, as investors awaited the outcome of Federal Reserve's policy meeting and Chairman Ben Bernanke's news conference later in the day.
In the U.S., futures point to a higher open on Wall Street. In the previous session, the Dow and the Nasdaq edged down about 0.1 percent each, while the S&P 500 dropped 0.3 percent.
Crude for February delivery is adding $0.13 to $97.60 per barrel, while February gold is gaining $1.4 to $1231.5 a troy ounce.
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