- Italian companies´ results under scrutiny
- Successful Italian and Spanish debt auctions
- Banks deposited 131.6bn euros overnight at ECB
FTSE Mibtel 30: 0.12%
Ibex 35: -0.07%
Stoxx 600: 0.05%
European equities had turned slightly higher by midday, buoyed by the latest Treasury bill auction results in Italy and Spain, as well a long-term sovereign debt sale in Germany which saw strong demand.
The results of the Italian debt sale, in particular, seem to lie behind some market commentary on Tuesday to the effect that investors are calm in the knowledge that the European Central Bank is there to soothe any market volatility which may arise due to the political dead-lock in Italy.
Contrary to what one might think, however, markets are not being completely complacent. Thus, and as the FT´s Lex column points out today, leading Italian companies are trading at a discount versus their Spanish and Portuguese peers, due precisely to that political uncertainty.
Highlighting, in part, the risks and challenges which that economy faces, the FT also points out how the country´s central bank is investigating whether its lenders´ levels of provisions for possible bad debts is sufficient.
Italian companies in focus
Pirelli has provided lower than forecast profit guidance for 2013 of €810m on a before interest and taxes basis.
Banca Intesa San Paolo has just unveiled better than expected fourth quarter results, although it is deemed to be one of the more solid banks in Italy.
European aircraft manufacturer EADS expects that cumulative orders for its A320neo passenger jets will probably hit 2,000 by the end of this month.
Reinsurer Munich Re is targeting net profit of close to €3bn this year.
Shares of oilfield equipment firm SBM Offshore NV are rocketing after the outfit agreed to pay $470m to settle a dispute with Talisman Energy over the Yme platform.
From a sector stand-point the best performance is to be seen in the following sectors: Travel (0.85%), Financial services (0.58%) and Technology (0.54%)
Spain´s red ink grows
Spain´s budget deficit grew by 35% in January 2013 when compared with levels of a year ago, to reach €12.73bn, an amount equivalent to 1.2% of the country´s GDP.
Italy´s consumer price index for the month of February rose by 1.9% month-on-month, as expected.
France´s current account deficit came in at -€5bn for January, versus -€3.8bn for the previous month.
Single currency indecisive at 1.30
The euro/dollar is edging higher, by 0.02% to the 1.3040 dollar
mark, with options barriers said to be propping the currency pair.
Front month Brent crude futures were down by 0.127 dollars to the 110.08 dollar level on the ICE.