By RTT News,
January 15, 2014, 02:11:00 AM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - European stocks are poised to open higher on Wednesday after U.S. retail sales figures topped estimates and the World Bank revised up its growth projections for the global economy, saying the performance of advanced economies would support stronger growth in developing countries in 2014. The lender expects the world economy to grow 3.2 percent this year, stronger than the 3 percent growth forecast in June.
The Asian markets are trading mostly higher as optimism that the global economy is strengthening offset worries over the potential tapering of quantitative easing. After some hawkish comments from Federal Reserve officials Charles Plosser and Richard Fisher, investors await speeches from two more regional Fed officials later today for further clues to decisions to be made at the Federal Reserve's next policy meeting on January 28-29.
Japan's Nikkei index climbed 2.5 percent following Tuesday's 3.1 percent decline, as the yen weakened against both the dollar and euro. The key benchmark indexes in Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand and South Korea are up between 0.4 percent and 1 percent, while Chinese shares are losing ground in response to weaker-than-expected money supply and loan growth data.
In economic releases, investors will closely scrutinize New York manufacturing activity data and the Beige Book report of economic anecdotes from the Federal Reserve both due later in the day for evidence of further economic recovery in the world's largest economy. German GDP data will also be in focus, with economists expecting the preliminary estimates to show 0.5 percent growth in 2013.
After better-than-expected earnings from JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo, financial giant Bank of America is due to report its fourth-quarter results before the U.S. opening bell.
French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday unveiled a pro-business agenda of reduced government spending and lower taxes in an effort to increase employment. He, however, declined to answer questions from reporters about the status of his relationship with French actress Julie Gayet, saying "private affairs are dealt with privately."
In corporate news, European oil giant Royal Dutch Shell Plc. plans to offload around $15 billion worth of assets over the next two years, including some North Sea fields, reports suggest.
Fraport AG, the owner and operator of Germany'sFrankfurt Airport, said that its Frankfurt Airport served about 4.095 million passengers in December 2013, a 2.9 percent increase from last year.
Forbes Media LLC, owner of Forbes magazine and Forbes.com, is reaching the final stages of its sale process, with three international companies, including German media holding company Axel Springer AG, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Japanese electronics manufacturer Toshiba Corp. has struck a deal to acquire a total 60 percent stake in U.K.-based nuclear energy company NuGeneration from France'sGDF Suez and Spanish utility Iberdrola SA.
The major European markets rose modestly on Tuesday, with encouraging Eurozone industrial production numbers and U.S. economic data as well as bank earnings underpinning sentiment. The German DAX and France's CAC 40 rose about 0.3 percent each, while the FTSE 100 of the U.K. edged up 0.1 percent.
U.S. stocks posted solid gains overnight, buoyed by better-than-expected retail sales figures covering the holiday shopping season. Earnings results from J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo beat expectations, further aiding investor sentiment. The Dow rose 0.7 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq rallied 1.7 percent and the S&P 500 advanced 1.1 percent.
For comments and feedback: contact firstname.lastname@example.org