- World Bank raises global growth outlook
- ECB agrees on capital benchmark for banks
- German GDP expands less than expected
- Euro-area's trade surplus increases
- Spain's inflation holds steady
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European equities rose after the World Bank raised its growth forecast for the global economy.
The World Bank expects global gross domestic product (GDP) will grow by 3.2% this year, up from 2.4% in 2013, driven by an improvement in developed economies.
The bank, however, warned that growth remained vulnerable to the impact of the withdrawal of monetary stimulus by the US Federal Reserve, saying it could hurt developing countries.
The Fed started unwinding monthly asset purchases by $10bn to $75bn in December. A batch of upbeat US data today is likely to fuel speculation that the central bank will announce another round of tapering at its meeting at the end of this month.
The Mortgage Bankers' Association revealed an 11.9% increase in US mortgage applications for the week to January 10th, compared to a rise of 2.6% a week earlier.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York's regional manufacturing gauge moved higher in January to a reading of 12.51 points, up from a revised 2.22 the month before and well past the 3.5 expected by analysts.
US producer prices rose by 0.4% on the month in December, in line with market estimates. At the 'core' level they increased by 0.3% versus November, ahead of the 0.1% forecast.
Fed official Charles Evans was due to speak tonight, potentially offering clues as to the central bank's next move.
Separately, the Fed will release its Beige Book business survey, a report on the economy from its 12 districts.
ECB agrees on benchmark for bank stress test
The European Central Bank (ECB) wants banks to show they can retain capital worth 6% of their assets when they are reviewed later this year, officials told Bloomberg today.
The source said policymakers have agreed on a benchmark for the ECB's stress test, which will put banks through a simulated recession to see if they can weather a repeat of the financial crisis.
Elsewhere in Europe, Germany's economy expanded less than expected last year, according to the Federal Statistics Office in its first estimate for annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth.
Europe's biggest economy saw GDP rise 0.4% from 2012, when it increased 0.7%. Economists had forecast growth of 0.5%.
"We expect some further growth acceleration in 2014 and annual GDP growth at 2.0% with some upside risks emerging reflecting better global growth,"
Barclays Research said.
Meanwhile, the euro-area's trade surplus expanded to €16bn from a revised €14.3bn in October, Eurostat said today.
In Spain, the annual inflation rate held at 0.3% last month, the same as in November, the Instituto Nacional de Estadistica in Madrid revealed.
Burberry gains after quarterly results
Burberry advanced after reporting a 14% increase in revenue in the three months ended December 31st, beating analysts' estimates.
Centrica and SSE were also lower after Barclays downgraded both stocks to 'underweight'.
Hargreaves Lansdown declined after the UK broker said it needs to gather £3.5bn of new assets over the next three years to offset pricing changes.
Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA gained after saying Chief Executive Officer Fabrizio Viola withdrew his resignation.
Hennes & Mauritz was up after Europe's second-biggest clothing retailer posted a 10% jump in total sales in December ahead of market forecasts.
The euro fell 0.60% to $1.3597.
Brent crude futures increased $0.793 to $107.240 per barrel, according to data from the ICE.