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The Lexington Report - European Markets Post Marginal Gains, While Waiting For Policy Decisions

By Expert Author: Lexington Group

Jul. 31, 2013 - CHIYODA-KU, Japan -- The Stoxx Europe 600 index spent the day hovering around 299 points, swing between small gains and loses. During morning trading the market was up after German research institute GfK released a report stating that levels of consumer confidence are at a six year high, the consumer-attitude indicator is up for the seventh consecutive month to seven points. It is at its highest level since before the recession and has exceeded our analysts’ expectations of 6.9 points.

Our analysts predict the market will remain largely unchanged until later in the week when monetary policy decisions are issued from The Bank of England and The Central European Bank. The US Federal Open Market Committee is also due to issue a report on employment and GDP growth in the US.

Among country specific indices, the German DAX 30 is up a third of percentage point, the U.K.´s FTSE 100 rose 0.24% and France´s CAC 40 climbed 0.57%.

Earnings reports have driven share prices up of several major European companies. Alcatel-Lucent is one of the day’s biggest winners, jumping an impressive 12%. The telecommunication equipment manufacturer reported earnings which beat forecasts and also stated that they are searching for potential partners to take a small stake in the firm. Another French company posted impressive earnings; Electricite de France SA climbed 7.1%. The energy utility reported a 3.5% gain in first half of the year profits, cause by cold weather.

Barclays is suffering substantial loses for a second straight day, on Tuesday shares plummeted 7%,after saying that it plans to raise $8.9 billion by issuing new shares. They also postponed their estimate for its return on equity, stating that it would surpass the cost of equity in 2016 as opposed to 2015.

BP also took loses on Tuesday, sliding 4%. The oil producer blamed higher taxes and lower oil prices. They also increased their estimate of the settlement cost of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Spill.

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