- Moody´s: Increased risk that Eurozone crisis flares up again
- Credit Suisse says we have seen this movie before
- Italian long-term debt auction on tap
- Italian and Spanish long-term yields slightly higher
- Banks deposited 163.4bn euros overnight at ECB
FTSE Mibtel 30: 0.81%
Ibex 35: 0.81%
Stoxx 600: 0.36%
Soothing words from US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, yesterday evening, are behind today´s tepid bounce in European equities.
That comes ahead of an Italian Treasury auction, this morning, of long-term debt, which will help investors to gauge the likely near-term severity of the latest political turn of events, over the weekend, in Italy.
Acting as a backdrop, credit rating agency Moody´s last night said that the situation in Italy "raises the risk of a renewed flare-up in the region's debt crisis."
Having said that, some analysts are rather more nonchalant. At Credit Suisse, for example, they are telling clients that "we have seen this movie before (...) Italy may not be as bad as it seems."
They attach only a 10 per cent probability to the possibility of imminent new elections in the central Mediterranean country.
Nevertheless, the Swiss broker points out that, "the probability of Spain asking for, and receiving OMT - as the European Central Bank´s emergency funding scheme for states is known - support in coming months have risen."
Mixed company news flow
French construction-to-telecoms conglomerate Bouygues has announced a 41% drop in 2012 net profits, to €633m.
European aeronautics giant EADS sees higher profit in 2013.
Swiss cement maker Holcim expects demand in the Americas and Asia to offset poor markets in Europe.
Swiss Life's 2012 net profit tumbled 85% to 93m Swiss francs on the back of a fourth quarter write-down at its German advisory arm.
From a sector stand-point the worst performance on the DJ Stoxx 600 is now to be seen in the following industrial groups: Telecommunications (1.11%), Banks (0.76%) and Technology (0.69%).
German consumer confidence ticks higher
GfK´s German consumer confidence index for the month of March has come in at 5.9, as expected, versus 5.8 for the month before.
The Eurozone´s money supply rose at a 3.5% year-on-year pace in January, ahead of the 3.2% seen by analysts.
The ISAE institute´s gauge of Italian business confidence rose to 88.5 points in February from a reading of 88.3 in the month before (Consensus: 88.4).
German import prices fell 0.8% month-on-month in January, after a rise of 0.3% in the previous month (Consensus: -0.4%).
Other asset classes timidly higher
The euro/dollar is now edging slightly higher, by 0.16%, to the 1.3090 dollar
Front month Brent crude futures are now gaining by 0.292 dollars to the 113.04 dollar per barrel mark on the ICE.