A slew of economic indicators over Europe are helping to buoy confidence in what is looking like a robust economic turnaround. In particular, EU economic and industrial confidence indices beat out analysts expectations in December, while factory orders in Germany surprised the market with a 5.2% increase in November. On the other hand, EU retails sales edged slightly lower over November, while the UK PMI report disappointed over last month.
In the marketplace, resource firms were mostly higher as commodity prices rise with Vedanta Resources up more than 2.0% so far while shares for oil giant BP gain by around 1.8% in London. On the downside, shares for KBC Group are off around 3.5% as the financial firm found cause for alarm regarding 4th quarter results due to “cases of irregularities” in a UK unit.