European shares rise as packed earnings day kicks off
THE dollar climbed off a five-week low and shares edged up on Tuesday as a heavy session of European data and earnings showed early promise before this week's trio of big central bank meetings.
Signs that Spain's recession is easing and a pick-up in German consumer confidence set an upbeat tone ahead of euro zone business and consumer sentiment data later, and meetings of the ECB, US Federal Reserve and Bank of England.
It was also one of the busiest days of the European earnings season so far with over 40 of the region's major firms announcing results.
A strong start by French utility EDF and German chip-maker Infineon helped lift the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 share index 0.2 per cent as London's FTSE, Frankfurt's DAX and Paris's CAC 40 climbed 0.2-0.3 per cent.
MSCI's world index, which tracks 45 countries, climbed 0.2 per cent as European gains
A strong start by French utility EDF and German chip-maker Infineon helped
lift the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 share index 0.2 per cent as London's FTSE, Frankfurt's DAX and Paris's CAC 40
climbed 0.2-0.3 per cent.
In the currency market, the dollar continued to pull away from Monday's five-week low as investors viewed its sharp drop over the last two weeks as a chance to get back in ahead of Tuesday's start of the Federal Reserve's twoday meeting.
"The Dollar Index is rebounding from the 200 moving average, suggesting that a recovery is likely to develop," Morgan Stanley's currency analysts wrote in a note.
"While the market appears to be fully prepared for a more dovish Fed, we expect the dol- lar to remain datadependent"
Focus was also on the Australian dollar. It hit a two-week low of $0.9085 after the country's central bank governor said inflation would be no bar to a cut in interest rates and that the currency could fall further.
The euro was flat at $1.3265. Europe's debt markets also saw a quiet start with Bunds and peripheral bonds all little changed though with the expectation of more action later.
Alongside the heavy slate of data, Italy will sell up to 6.75 billion euros of bonds. The auction is expected to go smoothly although it comes as Silvio Berlusconi faces a Supreme Court ruling that could see him banned from public office, a move that could endanger Italy's shaky coalition government.
In Asian trading, Japan's Nikkei bounced 1.5 per cent as the yen eased though stockselsewhere in the region finished flat as China's central bank's first injection of funds into money markets since February was balanced by some mixed data.-