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Euro stock mostly higher on German confidence, earnings

Stock MarketsFeb 24, 2012 11:43AM ET
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This article has already been saved in your Saved Items – European stocks closed mostly higher Friday, as a lack luster earnings season counteracted bullish German confidence numbers.
Near the close of European trade, the EURO STOXX 50 gained 0.59%, France's CAC 40 climbed 0.56%, while Germany’s DAX added 0.78%. Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 slipped 0.02%.
The bearish sentiment was stroked when the European Commission changed its November economic growth forecast for 0.05% growth to a 0.3% contraction in the euro zone.
The EU expects the economy to shrink 1.3% in Italy and give back 1% in Spain.
However, the European Union Economic and Monetary Commissioner, Olli Rehn stated, “Although growth has stalled, we are seeing signs of stabilization in the European economy. Economic sentiment is still at low levels, but stress in financial markets is easing.”
Meanwhile, Germany posted better than expected business climate index figures. The Munich based Ifo institute’s business climate index climbed to 109.6 in February from 108.3 in January.
In Greek news, German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated she will keep the pressure on Greece to meet its debt cutting pledges as many are skeptical of Greece sticking to its word.
On the earnings front, out of 212 euro zone companies reporting earnings, only 92 have beaten estimates casting a lack luster aura on the regions stocks.
Telecom Italia added 4.9% on debt reduction plan and stable earnings.
French builder, Eiffage soared 13% after the CEO projected higher revenue and net income in 2012.
In bearish news, Lloyds Banking Group gave back 2.3% after reporting a widening loss.
Bekaert NV led the regions stocks lower plunging 8.6% after the world’s largest maker of steel cord stated its planed cuts will not restore margins prior to 2014.
Stocks are trading higher midsession in the United States with the Dow gaining 0.13%, the S&P 500 advancing 0.14% and the Nasdaq climbing 0.26%

Euro stock mostly higher on German confidence, earnings

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