Germany's improved business confidence boosts stocks

GMT 19:40 2014 Monday ,24 November

Arab Today, arab today Germany's improved business confidence boosts stocks

Frankfurt's financial district as the Ifo business confidence indicator
London - AFP

Encouraging German data helped to lift eurozone stock markets on Monday, while London dipped as a profit warning by Petrofac sent the energy services group's shares plunging by a quarter.
Germany gave investors "reason to be more optimistic, as all three indicators -- business climate, current assessment and expectations -- rose on the month and easily exceeded expectations", said Craig Erlam, market analyst at Alpari traders.
The Paris CAC 40 rose 0.49 percent to close at 4,368.44 points, while in Frankfurt the DAX 30 gained 0.54 percent to 9,785.54.
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index meanwhile was down 0.31 percent to end the day at 6,729.79 points.
Business confidence in Germany appears to be stabilising after recent declines, with the Ifo business climate index rising in November for the first time in seven months.
In an encouraging sign for Europe's biggest economy, and therefore the eurozone as a whole, the closely watched barometer beat expectations and rose to 104.7 points in November from 103.2 points in October, the Ifo think-tank said in a statement.
But some economists questioned whether a German recovery would be strong enough to revive stagnant eurozone growth.
Economic recovery in Germany "will probably be too slow to power a eurozone revival, leaving the region as a whole at risk of deflation and keeping the pressure on policymakers to offer more support," said Jennifer McKeown at Capital Economics.
US stocks opened higher on the German data in early trade Monday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.06 percent at 17,820.63, and the broad-based S&P 500 gaining 0.16 percent to 2,066.75. Both had closed at record highs on Friday.
The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.45 percent to 4,734.16.
- Oil price fallout -
On the corporate front, shares in British energy firm Petrofac sank by a massive 26.45 percent to close at 877.50 pence in London trading as it warned on profits next year.
"The firm has painted a grim picture for 2015, warning of an expected profits decline of around 25 percent," said Daniel Sugarman, market strategist at trading group ETX Capital.
"Falling oil prices, due in part to both a huge boost in US oil production and a decline in Chinese demand, show relatively little sign of improving drastically in the near future -- something bound to affect Petrofac's bottom line."
Market focus this week is largely on OPEC, the oil-producing cartel that gathers in Vienna to decide whether to cut output in a bid to support crude prices.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will hold one of its most significant meetings in recent years on Thursday, with members under pressure to address slumping prices and protect their precious revenues.
The oil market has tumbled 30 percent since June on the back of plentiful supplies, a stronger dollar and weaker demand growth.
Meanwhile shares in Intesa Sanpaolo leapt Monday following a report the Italian bank is mulling a bid for Coutts, the British private bank that counts Queen Elizabeth II among its clients.
On the Milan bourse, shares in the bank closed up 2.85 percent to 2.39 euros as dealers digested remarks by its chief executive, Carlo Messina, indicating that he was keen to spend a cash pile that has jumped from 13 billion euros at the end of last year to 16 billion.
"We are by definition a potential consolidator," Messina told the Financial Times, adding that asset managers and insurers were also potential targets, alongside private banks.
The euro rose to $1.2438 from $1.2390 late in New York on Friday, while the British pound climbed to $1.5708 from $1.5651.
The European single currency gained to 79.18 British pence from 79.16 Friday.
On the London Bullion Market, the price of gold fell to $1,197.50 an ounce late Monday from $1,169 on Friday.

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