European stocks push higher

Europe’s main stock markets have mostly risen as traders responded to positive economic data and the latter stages of the current earnings season.


London’s FTSE 100 index of leading shares dipped 0.02 per cent to 6,618.46 points approaching midday on Tuesday, as heavyweight miners retreated in value, offsetting news of a strong rebound for British manufacturing.

Frankfurt’s DAX 30 advanced 0.30 per cent to 8,423.63 points after official data showed that German industrial orders had risen by 3.8 per cent in June.

The CAC 40 in Paris climbed 0.17 per cent to 4,056.86 points.

“After a decent run up in recent weeks, blue-chip mining stocks have cooled as lower metals prices take the steam out of the rally,” said Matt Basi, head of UK sales trading at CMC Markets.

The euro climbed to $US1.3278 from $US1.3255 late in New York on Monday.

The US dollar edged up to 98.25 yen from 98.22 yen.

Sterling was steady against the European single currency, while it jumped to $US1.5376 from $US1.5352 on Monday.

Britain’s manufacturing output rebounded with a bang in June, official data showed on Tuesday, providing further evidence of the country’s broad-based economic recovery.

Output jumped 1.9 per cent in June from May, when it had fallen by 0.7 per cent, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement.

Traders also digested further earnings updates, which along with improving European and US economic data, have helped to lift stock markets over the past month.

The DAX and CAC indices have each rallied by about 8.0 per cent in value since the start of July.

On Tuesday, shares in InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) jumped 3.0 per cent to 1,966 pence after the company announced a 25 per cent increase in first-half net profits thanks to a strong showing by its US operations.

Profit after tax jumped to $US340 million ($A381.98 million) in the six months to the end of June compared with net earnings of $US271 million in the first half of 2012, said the company that owns the InterContinental, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn hotel chains.

IHG added that it would pay shareholders a special dividend totalling $US350 million.

Asian stock markets closed mixed on Tuesday as investor concerns lingered over a potential tapering of US monetary stimulus, analysts said.

Hong Kong was dragged lower by a near five-per cent tumble for the share price of heavyweight HSBC Holdings.

On Monday, the banking giant announced a 22-per cent rise in half-year net profit on lower costs and falling bad-debt charges, slightly below analysts’ estimates.

It warned that slower Chinese growth was affecting its main market Asia.

Elsewhere on Tuesday, the price of gold slipped to $US1,293.12 an ounce on the London Bullion Market from $US1,304.75 on Monday.