By Corinne Gretler - Jul 27, 2012
Danone, the world’s biggest yogurt maker, advanced 1 percent after it reported higher first-half profit boosted by increased sales of infant-nutrition products in China. European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. gained 7 percent as first-half profit jumped 89 percent and it lifted its full-year earnings forecast. European luxury companies rose as booming demand in emerging markets such as China fueled first-half sales and profit growth.The Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced 0.4 percent to 257.62 at 8:01 a.m. in London. The gauge is still heading toward a 0.3 percent weekly drop amid worse-than-expected economic data in the U.S. and Europe and a surge in Spanish bond yields above 7 percent reignited concern that Europe’s debt crisis is yet to be contained. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) rallied 2 percent, while Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures added 0.4 percent today.
“European equity markets are set to edge higher on the open as traders tentatively await central bank action,” Jonathan Sudaria, a dealer at Capital Spreads in London, wrote in a note. In the U.S., today’s gross domestic product data “is set to slip, as if to hammer home the point to any remaining FOMC members as to whether or not to fire up the printing presses before they convene on Tuesday. With Japan struggling to come anywhere near the mandated inflation level, the pressure is also gathering on the BoJ for more quantitative easing.”
The Stoxx 600 yesterday posted the biggest advance in almost a month after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said policy makers will do whatever it takes to preserve the euro.
In the U.S., a report at 8:30 a.m. New York time may show that the world’s biggest economy expanded in the second quarter at the slowest pace in a year as a weaker labor market prompted Americans to cut back on their spending.
GDP, the value of all goods and services the nation produced, rose at a 1.4 percent annual rate after a 1.9 percent gain in the prior quarter, according to the median forecast of 81 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. Consumer purchases, which account for about 70 percent of the economy, may have grown at the weakest pace in a year.
In Japan, consumer prices excluding fresh food fell 0.2 percent in June from a year earlier, the statistics bureau said in Tokyo today. The median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey was for no change in prices. Retail sales rose 0.2 percent, a separate report showed, the smallest gain since November and less than a median forecast for a 1.1 percent increase.
Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa has said the central bank will pursue “powerful monetary easing” until its 1 percent inflation goal set in February is in sight.
Greek political leaders struggled to clinch agreement on an 11.5 billion-euro ($14 billion) package of budget cuts, as international creditors began a review of Greece’s progress that may determine its future in the euro-currency area.
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and his coalition partners, Evangelos Venizelos of Pasok and Fotis Kouvelis of Democratic Left, will meet again on July 30 to determine the savings required to receive the funds pledged under Greece’s two rescue packages totaling 240 billion euros.
Danone (BN) advanced 1 percent to 48 euros as adjusted net income rose to 911 million euros from 874 million euros a year earlier. That beat the 901 million-euro average analyst estimate.
EADS (EAD) added 7 percent to 30.17 euros after it reported first-half profit rose 89 percent and lifted its full-year earnings forecast as Airbus SAS delivered more planes. Earnings before interest and tax rose to 1.4 billion euros from 720 million euros a year earlier, excluding non-recurring charges and currency movements. That was more than the average projection of 881 million euros.
PPR, the French owner of the Gucci luxury brand, added 5.9 percent to 119.9 euros as it reported first-half recurring operating income rose 20 percent to 815.3 million euros in the six months ended June 30. The median of seven analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg was 785 million euros. PPR (PP) said that it’s confident full-year growth will exceed that of 2011 as it steps up emerging-markets expansion.
Linde AG (LIN), the world’s second-biggest maker of industrial gases, rose 0.8 percent to 118.95 euros as it said it would reach its 2014 profit goal a year earlier than planned after the company reported second-quarter profit that was in line with analyst estimates.
Barclays Plc (BARC), the British bank searching for a new management team in the wake of the Libor scandal, jumped 3.8 percent to 159.45 pence. Pretax profit excluding debt-valuation adjustments and other one-time items for the six months ended June 30 rose 13 percent to 4.2 billion pounds ($6.6 billion). That beat the 3.9 billion-pound median estimate of eight analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
Michelin & Cie. (ML) gained 4.8 percent to 53.67 euros as the world’s second-largest tiremaker said first-half profit jumped 36 percent. Operating income, excluding one-time gains and losses, advanced to 1.32 billion euros from 971 million euros a year earlier. Analysts had expected operating profit of 1.28 billion euros.
Anglo American Plc (AAL), with mines from Canada to Zimbabwe, dropped 2.1 percent to 1,924 pence. The company said first-half earnings slid 46 percent, more than analysts expected, as commodity prices declined.
Cie. de Saint-Gobain SA, Europe’s biggest supplier of building materials, lost 7.7 percent to 25.37 euros as it reduced its full-year outlook because of Europe’s economic crisis.