- Dagong lowers US credit rating to A-
- KPN drops eight per cent as Slim pulls out
- Single currency moves towards resistance at 1.37
FTSE Mibtel: -0.62%
Ibex 35: -0.40%
Stoxx 600: -0.17%
European stocks were trading moderately lower by midday as investors reacted coolly to the "fudge" on Capitol Hill. Although the worst scenarios had been avoided, markets may well have been expecting something more.
The agreement reached by US Congressmen allowed the United States to avoid what many believe would be a catastrophic default on US Treasuries and re-start the government - but only for the time being.
Naturally, what everyone now wants to know is where this leaves the US Federal Reserve. Investors were also waiting to hear what the ratings agencies had to say.
Acting as a backdrop, at least two large financial media outlets were commenting this morning on the exit by German Greens from coalition talks with Angela Merkel's CDU.
Quite commented as well, although the impact on markets was extremely limited, Chinese ratings agency Dagong cut its grade for US sovereign debt to A- from A.
Germany's economic research institutes leaked their joint economic forecasts to selected newspapers. They foresee a 0.4% increase in German gross domestic product in 2013, to be followed by 1.8% growth in 2014, the Suddeutsche Zeitung reported.
Various Italian unions were considering taking action to oppose government measures included in the budget, as the unions feel such measures would heavily penalise public sector employees (particularly via the wage/turnover freezes and extra pay cuts), according to La Repubblica.
Sulzer warns, KPN plummets
were off by 3.5% after the Swiss pump maker cut its full-year sales forecast for a second time
Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim had admitted defeat in his attempts to take over Dutch telecommunications outfit KPN for €7.2bn, sending the company's shares plummeting by over 8%.
Stock in French liquor maker Remy Cointreau slipped by 3% after announcing that interim sales had decreased by 3.6%.
Grocery giant Carrefour saw supermarket sales in France grow again in the third quarter. Sales in China also improved.
German retailer Metro was similarly upbeat, announcing that revenues rose in its country. The firm is confident in its outlook for the Christmas period.
Thomson Reuters data showed that in the past two weeks, consensus expectations for 2013 earnings from Stoxx Europe 600 companies have been cut by 0.5% as analysts factor in profit warnings from companies such as Schindler, Chemring and Getinge.
From a sector standpoint the best performance on the Stoxx 600 was to be seen in the following industrial groups; food and beverage (1.37%), personal and household goods (0.37%) and media (0.36%).
Dutch unemployment steady
The Eurozone 's current account surplus decreased to €12bn in August in non-seasonally adjusted terms, versus the previous month's level of €26.1bn .
Dutch unemployment remained unchanged at 8.6% in September, that was one tenth of a percentage point less than forecast.
Single currency moves higher
Front month Brent crude futures were lower by $0.472 to the $110.07 per barrel mark on the ICE.
The euro/dollar was higher by 0.82% to the $1.3648 level.