- US retail sales disappoint
- Chinese credit data ahead of forecasts
- Fitch: Conflict in Iraq could have long-term consequences
- Oil traders push futures higher
FTSE 100: 0.06%
CAC 40: -0.02%
FTSE MIB: -0.27%
IBEX 35: 0.12%
Stoxx 600: 0.03%
European stocks finished the session on a mixed note as US retail sales came in weaker than expected, while oil traders seemingly finally stood and up took notice of news regarding recent advances by jihadists in Iraq.
US retail sales rose by 0.3% over the month in May, below economists´ forecasts. On top of that excluding "erratic" items retail sales were flat. That sits oddly with the most recent figures showing solid growth in payrolls. Hence, analysts at Capital Economics were sanguine.
Acting as a backdrop, Chinese credit and money supply data for the month of May came in ahead of forecasts. Despite more signs of recovery, economists at Barclays Research wrote to clients telling them that they "continue to expect further monetary easing".
Oil traders sit up and take notice of turmoil in Iraq
Kirkuk has been taken over by Kurdish forces after the federal army abandoned its bases in the northern city.
The news cames after Iraqi soldiers fled their posts in the city of Mosul on Tuesday and several other towns and cities as radical Sunni insurgents from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) invaded.
The jihadist attacks on the Iraqi cities of Mosul and Tikrit do not constitute an immediate threat neither for that country´s oil production nor for the ratings of Western oil companies, according to ratings agency Fitch.
However, should the conflict spread and the market begin to doubt whether the Middle Eastern nation will indeed be able to raise its oil output in line with forecasts then that could provoke a sharp rise in world oil prices
as current forecasts foresee Iraq increasingly becoming a major contributor to the long-term growth in global oil output.
Ocado, Anglo American
Bouygues Telecom rallied on news Orange is studying a cash offer for the company. Iliad gained after France said it'll push for a merger among phone companies.
Ocado Group advanced as JPMorgan Chase & Co. advised investors to buy the shares.
Anglo American declined after Morgan Stanley recommended selling the stock.
Provident Financial edged higher after Citigroup upgraded the shares
to 'buy' from 'neutral'.
From a sector standpoint the best performance on the DJ Stoxx 600 was to be seen in the following sectors: Oil (1.2%), Financial services (0.43%) and personal and household goods (0.40%).
Crude futures advance
The euro/dollar rose by 0.14% to $1.3550.
Front month Brent crude futures were 1.892% higher on the day, and trading at 1.3550.