European markets were mixed on Wednesday ahead of major corporate earnings. UK’s FTSE 100 index snapped its two-day losing streak only to remain relatively unchanged on Wednesday.
European Economic Outlook
The FTSE 100 index was calm after the release of the weak Nationwide Housing Price Index (HPI). The monthly HPI for July slipped 0.5% leading to a 10.5% year-on-year advance. However, this was weaker than the estimated 12.1% increase.
Germany’s DAX index was in the red ahead of the country’s unemployment change data for July. The German unemployment rate for July is expected to slightly decline to 5.8% from 5.9% in June. The unemployment change for the same month is expected to dip 28,0000.
The French CAC 40 index inched slightly higher ahead of the country’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) later in the week. The French monthly PPI for June will also be released later this week. Euro STOXX 50 also rose on Wednesday.
The robust spread of coronavirus infections has been weighing heavily on the market outlook in Europe. Despite falling cases, the United Kingdom recorded its highest death toll on Tuesday from the virus since March.
Major corporate stocks in Europe such as Deutsche Bank, Barclays, Rio Tinto, BASF, and British American Tobacco are set to publish their second-quarter earnings later today. Deutsche bank, as well as Barclays, posted positive results.
Investors are focused on the Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision later today. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will also issue its monetary policy statement today. Investors are hoping to get clues on the timeline for tapering the monetary policy.
FTSE 100 Performers
Among the best performers in the FTSE 100 index include St James’s Place Plc, Fresnillo, and Barclays Plc.
St James’s Place Plc gained more than 5.14% in its stock earnings. The wealth management company announced that its gross inflows jumped 27% YoY to £9.2 billion in the first half of the year. The company also reported a pretax profit of £482.6 million, recovering from a £71.9 million loss in 2020.
Fresnillo rose 4.24% in its stock price. The mining company reported strong silver production and weak gold output in the second quarter of 2021.
Barclays Plc gained 4.05% after releasing positive economic results for the second quarter. The British lender posted a quarterly attributable profit of £2.1 billion beating analysts’ expectations of a net income of £1.7 billion.
Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc led the drags in the index. The company’s share price dived 1.68% on Wednesday. The consumer goods company announced that a boom in demand for disinfectants and surface cleaners had eased sending shares in household products edge lower.
HSBC Holdings Plc was facing a tough day on Wednesday. The company’s stock price fell 1.61%. This was after the financial services company was accused of forex fraud by an ex-client.
BHP Group Plc was also among the laggards in the index after a 1.58% decline. The mining company is set for a rough course after London’s Court of Appeal agreed to reopen a $7 billion lawsuit by 200,000 claimants against the company. The court revived a case over a dam rupture behind Brazil’s worst environmental disaster.