European Stocks Poised For Firm Opening

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European stocks are set to open higher on Monday amid speculation the ultra-loose monetary policies followed by the world’s top central banks wouldn’t change anytime soon. The U.S. dollar remains under selling pressure against major currencies amid doubts over whether or not the Federal Reserve will be able to follow through with plans to hike interest rates before the end of the year.

Oil prices edged higher in Asian deals after Russia said it was ready to meet with OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers to discuss the situation in the global oil markets. Copper climbed and gold retained gains from its biggest daily jump in nearly nine months, while the safe-haven yen held little changed versus the dollar.

Asian stocks kicked off the week on a positive note, with the benchmark indexes in Australia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan and Singapore rising 1-3 percent. The Chinese market remains closed until Wednesday for National Day holidays.

In economic releases, investor confidence, retail sales and services PMI reports from the euro area are slated for release in the European session. Euro group finance ministers will hold a meeting in Brussels at 9:00 am ET to discuss Greece’s progress on steps to qualify for the next tranche of bailout funds.

Meanwhile, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services upgraded Spain’s sovereign rating to ‘BBB+’ from ‘BBB’, citing reforms to labor regulations and budgetary consolidation that have boosted economic growth.

Portugal’s ruling centre-right coalition has retained power in an election on Sunday that was a test of its austerity policies.

In corporate news, German car maker Volkswagen AG said that it was suspending the sale of some of its diesel vehicles in Australia to address the diesel emissions issue.

Wind turbines maker Nordex SE said that it would acquire Acciona’s wind power business for 785 million euro in cash and stock.

Evotec AG said it has entered into a multi-year compound management agreement with the U.S. National Cancer Institute, Department of Health and Human Services

Canadian fertilizer giant Potash Corp of Saskatchewan, Inc. withdrew its proposal to negotiate a transaction with German potash maker K+S Aktiengesellschaft amid challenging macroeconomic conditions and a lack of engagement by the target company’s management.

Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc reportedly plans to cut 400 management jobs in its flagging marine division, with an announcement expected early this week.

The European markets ended mostly higher on Friday as slowing U.S. job growth and the lack of any pressure on wages helped push back expectations of an interest-rate rise into next year. Also, producer prices in the Eurozone fell more than expected in August, adding pressure on the European Central Bank to bolster stimulus. The German DAX rose half a percent, France’s CAC 40 gained 0.7 percent and the FTSE 100 of the U.K. added 1 percent.

U.S. stocks reversed early steep losses to end sharply higher on Friday as an unambiguously soft payrolls report for September, downward revisions to the prior two months and disappointing factory orders figures dented rate hike hopes. The U.S. economy added just 142,000 jobs last month, well below economist estimates for an increase of about 203,000 jobs. The Dow rose 1.2 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq climbed 1.7 percent and the S&P 500 advanced 1.4 percent.

 

 

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