Europe, Asia stocks up ahead of US data

Associated Press
Trader Glenn Kessler works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Monday, July 28, 2014. The stock market is opening mixed at the start of a busy week as a batch of merger announcements lift shares in Family Dollar and other companies. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
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Trader Glenn Kessler works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Monday, July 28, 2014. The stock market is opening mixed at the start of a busy week as a batch of merger announcements lift shares in Family Dollar and other companies. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — European and Asian stocks rose Tuesday ahead of a string of U.S. and Chinese economic reports later this week and despite the possibility of more sanctions on Russia. Wall Street was expected to rise on the open.

KEEPING SCORE: By early afternoon in Europe, Germany's DAX was up 0.5 percent to 9,647.53 and France's CAC 40 advanced 0.6 percent to 4,370.19. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.5 percent to 6,823.03. Futures showed Wall Street was set for a better start after its main benchmarks closed flat on Monday. Dow Jones and S&P 500 futures were both up 0.2 percent.

RUSSIA WATCH: The market's cautious gains may be tested later if Western powers decide to go ahead with a new round of sanctions against Russia. On Monday, the White House said the United States and European Union plan to impose more sanctions this week, including penalties targeting key parts of the Russian economy. The EU had previously refrained from stepping up sanctions in the wake of the shooting down of a Malaysian jetliner over a rebel-controlled region of Ukraine, killing 298 people.

ASIA'S DAY: Japan's Nikkei 225 closed 0.6 percent higher at 15,618.07. South Korea's Kospi posted its highest close since August 2011, rising 0.6 percent, boosted by the new finance minister's recent announcement of economic stimulus and measures to support the housing market. Hong Kong's Hang Seng finished 0.9 percent higher and China's Shanghai Composite gained 0.2 percent.

EARNINGS: Companies are in the middle of corporate earnings season. Japanese carmaker Honda Motor Co. raised its full-year profit and sales forecasts. Shares in Honda closed 0.8 percent lower before its earnings release. On Thursday, Asian tech heavyweights Samsung Electronics Co. and Sony Corp. will release their quarterly financial results. In Europe, BP warned that more sanctions on Russia could affect its earnings — its shares were down 1.6 percent.

DATA RUSH: On Wednesday, the U.S. will release gross domestic product figures for the April-June quarter. The world's largest economy is expected to pick up after severe winter cold dampened growth the previous quarter. The Federal Reserve is scheduled to issue a statement after wrapping up a two-day policy meeting on Wednesday. On Thursday, a report on China's manufacturing industry will give investors an update on the health of the world's factory floor. On Friday, the U.S. will release its monthly jobs data. Analysts estimate that the U.S. labor market added between 235,000 and 255,000 jobs in July.

ANALYST TAKE: William Leys, sales trader at CMC Markets, said investors were cautious before the data storm. "Caution is the pre-eminent theme across global markets at the moment, as investors anticipate a spate of key economic data due later in the week, amid a backdrop of persistent geopolitical concerns," Leys said in a commentary. "With a variety of weighty announcements looming, the stage is set for an action packed end to the week."

CURRENCIES, OIL: The euro was almost flat at $1.3431 from the previous session's $1.3439. The dollar drifted higher to 102.00 yen from 101.84 yen. The price of oil fell, with benchmark U.S. crude for September delivery down 30 cents to $101.37 a barrel.

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