By RTT News,
December 12, 2013, 05:39:00 AM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - The French market is in negative territory on Thursday, after industrial production in the euro area decreased, ahead of a raft of U.S. data on weekly jobless claims, retail sales and business inventories that may influence the policy makers at next week's Federal Reserve meeting.
Meanwhile, reports said U.S. President Barack Obama plans to nominate former Bank of Israel chief Stanley Fischer to be the next vice chairman of the Federal Reserve. Last month, Fischer had called the bond-buying program as a "dangerous" but "necessary" move for the U.S. economy.
Closer home, industrial production in the euro area decreased at a notably faster pace in October, defying expectations for a modest increase, with all the major industrial sectors recording decline in activity.
Industrial production fell a seasonally adjusted 1.1 percent month-on-month in October, after dropping an upwardly revised 0.2 percent in the previous month, statistical office Eurostat said. Economists had forecast production to grow 0.3 percent, following September's originally reported 0.5 percent contraction.
The Swiss National Bank decided to maintain the franc ceiling with the exchange staying high and the "vulnerable" external economic situation posing downside risks to Switzerland.
In a statement, the SNB said it would maintain the minimum exchange rate of 1.2 Swiss francs per euro. The bank reiterated that it stands ready to enforce the franc cap, if necessary, by buying foreign currency in unlimited quantities.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is losing 0.25 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is falling 0.18 percent.
The CAC 40 index is currently falling by less than a tenth of a percent.
Peugeot is declining 8.1 percent. The carmaker said its annual results would include an impairment charge on Automotive Division assets, reflecting the impact of worsening automobile markets and unfavorable exchange rates in Russia and Latin America.
Technip is losing 1.7 percent. The oil services firm announced the extension of its long-standing agreement with British oil giant BP Plc. in the purified terephthalic acid domain.
Sanofi is moderately higher. The drugmaker's animal health unit, Merial, said the European Medicines Agency approved Broadline, a product in the fight against external parasites offering additional internal parasite control for cats.
Other markets in the region are also trading lower.
The Asian stocks fell to a two and a half month low, mirroring losses on Wall Street overnight, as investors grew more apprehensive about Fed tapering following a bipartisan budget deal reached in Washington on Tuesday.
In the U.S., futures point to a higher open on Wall Street. In the previous session, stocks fell sharply on worries that a bipartisan budget deal reached in Washington could strengthen the case for the Federal Reserve to taper its bond-buying program in January. The Dow slid 0.8 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 1.4 percent and the S&P 500 declined 1.1 percent.
Crude for January delivery is adding $0.03 to $97.47 per barrel while February gold is losing $5.8 to $1251.4 a troy ounce.
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