This Morning's Top Euro Stories

LONDON -- European stock markets are trading higher Tuesday, ending a four-day slide as the EU drew up the blueprint for Spain's 100 billion euro bailout, the first 30 billion euros of which should reach Madrid by the end of the month. In addition, better-than-expected manufacturing data in the U.K. and Italy released this morning has helped increase optimism.

Gains come despite Chinese import data overnight showing falling demand from the world's biggest consumer of raw materials -- signs taken by most that the country's economic growth outlook is continuing to cool. In Europe, the German DAX (INDEX: ^GDAXI  ) is putting in a solid performance, up 1.2%.

Steelmakers are one of the best-performing industries across the continent today, helped as news over falling Chinese iron ore imports offers some hope that the costs of this key steelmaking material may be under pressure in the coming months. The data showed that iron ore imports fell 9% between May and June to 58.3 million tons, and hopes now flourish that the reduction in this core cost will help improve profitability for companies such as ThyssenKrupp (NASDAQOTH: TYEKY.PK), which is up 4.3% today after Macquarie Group raised its recommendation for the company.

Italian manufacturer Finmeccanica (NASDAQOTH: FINMY.PK) is also making good gains today, up around 4.6% amid upbeat news for defense-related firms. Just days after the U.K. ruled out further cuts to defensive-equipment programs, Lockheed Martin said the Dutch vote against an order for its F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has not put an end to the deal as a whole.

Elsewhere, and despite some positive news for banks today, the finance sector is seeing rather mixed trade across Europe. News that the EU banking watchdog will tomorrow publish a report suggesting that European banks will be able to meet their capital requirements has actually been offering little support this morning, particularly for banks in the peripheral European countries.

Of these, the National Bank of Greece (NYSE: NBG  ) is leading losses, down almost 6% on reports that it's trying to form a "megabank" with Piraeus Bank, Credit Agricole, and Emporiki Bank. The company has strongly denied these rumors, however.

In addition, NBG is said to be interested in buying the so-called "good bank" business of the Agricultural Bank of Greece, which may be split, according to a report in the Greek paper Kathimerini today.

On the corporate front, French company Sodexo (NASDAQOTH: SDXAY.PK), the world's second-largest provider of catering services, is making some of the sharpest losses in Paris, down more than 4.7% after it reported a disappointing sales outlook to the market.

The company said deteriorating economic conditions caused sales growth to slow in the latest quarter. Sales increased just 5.2% for the first nine months of its accounting year, compared with the 6.4% growth it reported for the first six months. The move has not led the company to change its guidance of 6% to 7% organic sales growth for the year, however, though it did now suggest that this would be "challenging."

As always, this morning's European news saw some winners and losers -- and perhaps some European buying opportunities. Indeed, legendary investor Warren Buffett has recently spent more than $1 billion buying the stock of a prominent European large cap. If you want to know why Buffett has bought into Europe, this special Motley Fool report -- "The One European Share Warren Buffett Loves" -- reveals everything, including the price he paid. You can download the report today for free. But hurry -- the report is available for a limited time only.

The Motley Fool is helping Europe invest. Better. And with the eurozone economy so uncertain, we're urging everyone to read "10 Steps To Making A Million In The Market" -- this report may transform your wealth. Click here now to request your free, no-obligation copy.

Further Motley Fool investment opportunities:

Karl does not own any share mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (4)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

DocumentId: 1938282, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 7/26/2014 11:32:25 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement