Europe open: Stocks higher as range trading persists

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LONDON (ShareCast) - - Stocks higher as range trading persists
- European summit this afternoon
- Euro and crude little changed
- Light (Other OTC: LGSXY - news) data calendar

FTSE 100: 0.12%
DAX: 0.20%
CAC 40: 0.17%
FTSE MIB: 0.51%
IBEX 35: 0.33%
Stoxx 600: 0.21%

European equities have begun the session moving slightly higher, following in the wake of overnight gains on Wall Street.

Nevertheless, some observers were slightly perplexed by the positive reaction seen to the poor figures on US gross domestic product (GDP).

In that regard, Deutsche Bank (NYSE: DB-RI - news) points out that a contraction as large as that seen in US GDP during the first three months of the year is unheard of outside of recessionary phases, with only two exceptions since the end of WWII: Q4 1949 (-3.5%) and Q2 1981 (-2.9%).

"The argument that there is still significant spare capacity in the US economy is perhaps stronger now," the broker added.

In European news, the European Council will meet today and is expected to focus on the choice of the next EC President. Country-specific recommendations as part of the 2014 European semester are also due to be finalised.

Oil stocks track Brent prices down

French lender BNP Paribas (Xetra: BNP.DE - news) may be suspended from converting foreign exchange into dollars in some of its business units, according to sources familiar with the matter cited by Reuters.

A complaint has been filed by the New York State Attorney General against Barclays (LSE: BARC.L - news) 's Alternative Trading System, LX Liquidity Cross. The allegations, which include fraud and "deceptive practices", follow an investigation by the Attorney General.

Chip-makers Dialog Semiconductor Plc (Xetra: DLG.DE - news) and AMS AG were higher after announcing that they are exploring a merger.

Shipping group Hapag Lloyd is planning further takeovers. "This industry is crying out for consolidation," the company's Chief Executive Officer said yesterday.

From a sector stand-point the largest losses are now being seen in the following industrial sectors within the DJ Stoxx 600: Personal (Other OTC: PRBDF - news) and household goods (-0.61%), Technology (-0.19%) and Chemicals (-0.17%).

Light data calendar

INSEE's French consumer confidence index for the month of June advanced to 86 points, from a reading of 85 for the prior month (consensus: 85).

French jobseekers data will be released later in the afternoon.

Crude futures, euro largely unchanged

The euro/dollar is off just slightly, by 0.06% at $1.3617.

Front month Brent crude futures are now down by 0.04% to the $113.9/barrel mark on the ICE.

AB

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