- IMF to raise growth outlook for US economy
- US consumer confidence figures out
- Cable calls for interest rate hike
FTSE 100: 0.60%
CAC 40: 0.02%
FTSE MIB: 0.19%
IBEX 35: -0.07%
Stoxx 600: 0.35%
European stocks were little changed in the lead up to Christmas as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said it is raising its growth outlook for the US economy.
In an interview yesterday with NBC's Meet the Press, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said the group is lifting its outlook for the world's biggest economy as a budget deal in Washington and the Federal Reserve's plan to reduce its bond buying boosted confidence about recovery.
In October, the IMF said the US would expand 2.6% next year. Lagarde didn't reveal new figures.
Turning to today's agenda in the US is the release of the University of Michigan's consumer confidence report. The final reading for the December sentiment index is expected to rise to 83 from a preliminary reading of 82.5 and November's reading of 75.1.
Aside from a few data releases in the US, which also includes reports on personal consumption and income, it will be a quiet day with many economists and traders taking the week off for Christmas.
Cable urges BoE to raise interest rates
Business Secretary Vince Cable has warned that interest rates my need to rise to constrain a housing boom in London and the south-east.
Speaking on BBC1's Andrew Marr Show, he said there was a risk that large parts of London could be inhabited only by foreigners and bankers as house prices accelerated unless the Bank of England (BoE) raises interest rates.
However, he noted that increasing the rate could hurt manufacturing as it would affect exchange rates
and impact exports.
The BoE has vowed to keep the main interest rate at 0.5% at least until unemployment reaches 7%.
BoE Governor Mark Carney was asked about house prices when he flew to New York this month.
"There is a history of things shifting in the UK and the housing market moving from stall speed to warp speed," Carney said in response after delivering a speech at the Economic Club of New York on December 9th. "We want to avoid that."
surged after the company's artificial heart was implanted in a patient for the first time last week.
Orell Fuessli declined after saying it will report an operating loss of 20m for 2013, due to special charges at its security-printing unit, which produces Switzerland's banknotes.
Swatch gained after the biggest maker of Swiss watches won an arbitration award of 402m Swiss francs against Tiffany & Co.
Lanxess advanced as the chemical maker's Chief Executive Officer said the firm will reach its full-year forecast for earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA).
ARM Holdings, which designs chips for Apple's iPhones, bounced higher after Apple struck a deal to sell the smartphone through China Mobile.
The Eurozone's blue-chip Euro
STOXX 50 index also advanced.
The euro rose 0.10% to $1.3686.
Brent crude futures fell $0.260 to $111.480 per barrel, according to ICE data.