Investing.com - European stocks remained mostly higher on
Wednesday, after of the release of positive euro zone industrial
production data later in the day, while speculation over a
near-term end to the Federal Reserve's stimulus program persisted.
During European afternoon trade, the EURO STOXX 50 gained 0.40%,
France's CAC 40 rose 0.37%, while Germany's DAX 30 slipped 0.13%.
Official data showed that industrial production in the euro zone
rose 0.4% in April, confounding expectations for a 0.2% fall, after
a 0.9% increase the previous month.
Separately, Germany's Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble defended
the European Central Bank's bond purchasing scheme at a hearing in
Germany's constitutional court into the legality of the program on
Meanwhile, markets remained jittery amid ongoing speculation over
whether the Fed will begin to unwind its bond-buying program in the
In the financial sector, French lender BNP Paribas climbed 0.50%
and Societe Generale slid 0.36%, while Germany's Deutsche Bank
tumbled 1.05% and Commerzbank rose 0.36%.
Meanwhile, peripheral lenders remained broadly higher, with Spanish
banks Banco Santander and BBVA rallying 1.51% and 2.06%
respectively, while Italy's Unicredit and Intesa Sanpaolo gained
0.41% and 0.61%.
Elsewhere, Kabel Deutschland surged 8.32% after Vodafone, the
world's second-largest wireless carrier, confirmed it discussed
acquiring the German cable operator to expand in the broadband and
In London, FTSE 100 added 0.15%, after official data showed that
the number of people claiming unemployment benefits in the U.K.
fell to the lowest level in two years in May.
U.K. lenders remained mostly higher, as shares in the Royal Bank of
Scotland climbed 0.66%, while HSBC Holdings and Lloyds Banking
advanced 0.58% and 0.41% respectively. Barclays underperformed on
the other hand, sliding 0.30%.
Adding to gains, BSkyB rallied 2.15% after Banco Espirito Santo
wrote in a report that News Corp. may make a new bid for the U.K.'s
largest pay-TV broadcaster after its shareholders approve a plan to
split off publishing operations.
Meanwhile, Severn Trent continued to lead losses, diving 8.79%,
after Borealis Infrastructure Management nd its Kuwaiti-British
partners late Tuesday abandoned their GBP5.3 billion bid for the
U.K. water utility as the offer deadline expired.
In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a higher open. The Dow Jones
Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.52% gain, S&P 500
futures signaled a 0.58% increase, while the Nasdaq 100 futures
indicated a 0.47% rise.
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