Arab Today, arab today european shares firm before interest rate calls
Last Updated : GMT 16:53:24
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Arab Today, arab today

European shares firm before interest rate calls

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today European shares firm before interest rate calls

London - AFP

European equities edged higher Thursday in cautious deals before interest rate decisions in both Britain and the eurozone, and on the eve of major US data, dealers said. In late morning deals, London\'s FTSE 100 index of top companies rose 0.08 percent to 6,424.46 points, Frankfurt\'s DAX 30 gained 0.20 percent to 8,213.08 points, and in Paris the CAC 40 was up 0.38 percent at 3,867.33 points. Stock markets in Paris, Amsterdam and Lisbon meanwhile opened later than normal, as a result of a technical glitch at operator NYSE Euronext. In foreign exchange activity, the European single currency climbed to $1.3126 from $1.3089 late in New York on Wednesday. The dollar increased to 99.27 yen from 99.16 yen on Wednesday. \"Market participants are treading carefully ahead of key events which include policy meetings by both the Bank of England and the European Central bank,\" said ETX Capital trader Ishaq Siddiqi. \"No changes on policies expected by both central banks but traders are still nervous about any surprises, particularly from the ECB.\" At 1100 GMT, the Bank of England is widely expected to keep record-low British interest rates at 0.50 percent, and refrain from altering its quantitative easing stimulus scheme. The BoE\'s June gathering will be the last for governor Mervyn King, who will be replaced by Canada\'s Mark Carney at the start of July. Shortly afterwards, at 1145 GMT, the European Central Bank is forecast to refrain from further policy moves, after slashing its key lending rate to an all-time low of 0.50 percent last month. Analysts will focus instead on ECB chief Mario Draghi\'s press conference for fresh clues on how the bank will combat the eurozone\'s ongoing recession, dealers said. On Friday meanwhile, markets will digest the vital US non-farm payrolls (NFP) data for hints on the health of the world\'s biggest economy. \"Traders may be tempted to sit on their hands in the short term with the NFP due for release tomorrow,\" said Mike McCudden, head of derivatives at stockbroker Interactive Investor. \"There\'s also central bank verdicts due from both London and Frankfurt in the coming hours although with no change expected ... it is going to be more about picking over the content of Draghi\'s press conference for any subtleties if traders are hoping to find some fresh direction.\" ECB watchers have questioned the effectiveness of rate cuts, arguing that the more pressing issue for the euro area\'s economy is the low level of lending to Europe\'s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Last month, Draghi revealed that the ECB was in \"consultations\" on this issue with other European institutions such as the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the EU Commission. In earlier trade, Asian markets sank Thursday following a sell-off on Wall Street, where dealers were spooked by disappointing US jobs data. Tokyo stocks fell 0.85 percent, extending an almost four percent decline on Wednesday due to disappointment at Prime Minister Shinzo Abe\'s latest plan to boost the economy. Wall Street sank overnight following a global rout as weaker-than-expected data on private jobs creation underscored weakness in the US economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dived 1.43 percent to 14,960.59 points, closing below 15,000 for the first time in a month. Payroll firm ADP reported Thursday that the US private sector added 135,000 jobs in May, less than the forecast 157,000. That came as the Fed\'s closely watched Beige Book report on US economic conditions said growth continues to be \"modest to moderate\", suggesting steady but still slow expansion.

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