LONDON -- European equity markets have been managing to squeeze out some gains today, looking set to put an end to the recent slide as weaker-than-expected GDP data from China overnight encourages speculation that the Asian giant will now begin to implement growth stimulus measures.
This buoyant attitude was tempered a little, however, after the ratings agency Moody's reduced the debt rating of Italy by two notches to "Baa2" and reiterated its negative outlook for the country due to weak growth expectations and the potential for contagion from Greece and Spain.
With this, the European peripheral markets are among the weakest today, while the German DAX
The telecom sector has been seeing some broad gains in Europe this morning, helped by news yesterday that EU regulators will not push for reduced access prices on old copper Internet networks on the continent. Deutsche Telekom (NASDAQOTH: DTEGY.PK) is leading the sector, up around 3.6% after Credit Suisse raised its stock outlook on the company from "underperform" to "neutral" and increased its price target from 8.5 euros to 9 euros.
Meanwhile, French media and software firm Vivendi (NASDAQOTH: VIVHY.PK) is one of the best performers in Paris, up 2.5% on news that it may sell its $8.1 billion stake in U.S. video game producer Activision Blizzard. This followed comments from Vivendi Chairman Jean-Rene Fourtou at a media conference in Sun Valley yesterday, implying that the company would consider offers for its 61% stake in Blizzard.
On the other side of the market, Deutsche Bank
Elsewhere, the Finnish phone maker Nokia
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