European markets get a boost from leading US investment firm

AP News
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Posted: Feb 07, 2017 7:47 AM
European markets get a boost from leading US investment firm

LONDON (AP) — European shares rose solidly Tuesday after a leading American investment firm recommended clients to buy the region's stocks.

KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was up 0.7 percent at 7,219 while Germany's DAX index rose 0.6 percent to 11,583. The CAC 40 in France was 0.1 percent higher at 4,784. U.S. stocks were poised for solid gains at the bell with Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures up 0.3 percent.

BLACKROCK BOOST FOR EUROPE: Blackrock, one of the world's big investors, upgraded its position on European equities to "overweight" in light of the pick-up in global growth measures. European earnings, according to Richard Turnill, BlackRock's global chief investment strategist, have "historically been more sensitive to global economy pick-ups than U.S. counterparts." Turnill also noted that economic and political shocks have kept investors "overly cautious" towards European stocks and that the political risk priced into European markets around the upcoming elections in France and Germany is "overstated."

GREECE FEARS RETURN: Renewed concerns have emerged over Greece's bailout program and whether the International Monetary Fund will continue with its participation. Overnight, the IMF displayed an unusual division over what to with regard to Greece, with some of its directors favoring a lower budget surplus target for Greece than others. Greek borrowing rates have risen in the markets, with the benchmark 10-year yield up 0.13 percentage point at 7.69 percent.

ASIA'S DAY: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index lost 0.4 percent to 18,910.78 and the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.1 percent to 3,153.09. Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 rose 0.1 percent to 5,621.90 and Seoul's Kospi retreated 0.1 percent to 2,075.21. India's Sensex shed 0.6 percent to 28,365.33 and benchmarks in Bangkok, Manila and Jakarta also declined. Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia gained.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude was down 22 cents at $52.81 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange while Brent crude, used to price international oils, was off 26cents at $55.70 in London at $55.46.

CURRENCIES: The dollar was buoyant in the foreign exchange markets. The euro was down 0.5 percent at $1.0683 while the dollar rose 0.5 percent to 112.33 yen.