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Europe midday: Stocks mostly higher, despite 'subdued' outlook for German economy

By Alexander Bueso

Date: Tuesday 16 Apr 2019

Europe midday: Stocks mostly higher, despite 'subdued' outlook for German economy

(Sharecast News) - Stocks on the Continent are trading mostly higher as investors wait on another barrage of corporate earnings Stateside, amid holiday-thinned trading volumes.
And there was some underlying optimism, at least on the part of some analysts, particularly regarding the most recent economic data out of the People's Republic of China.

That prompted Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, to tell clients: "In an Easter shortened week Asia markets have got off to a decent start taking their cues from easing concerns about Chinese data, and a strong end to the week for US markets. This looks set to translate into a positive start for European stocks this morning."

Data on Chinese first quarter GDP growth, together with figures on retail sales and fixed asset investment covering the month of March were due out on Thursday.

As of noon, the benchmark Stoxx 600 was edging up by 0.22% to 388.97, alongside an advance of 0.60% to 12,093.90.

In parallel, euro/dollar was drifting lower by 0.12% to 1.30817 and front month Brent crude oil futures were up by 0.04% at $71.21 per barrel on the ICE.

Nevertheless, according to the ZEW Institute the outlook for Germany over the next couple of quarters remained "greatly subdued".

The closely-followed gauge of analyst sentiment towards the euro area's largest economy, compiled by ZEW, rose by 6.7 points in April to 3.1 (consensus: 0.8).

According to ZEW, one of Germany's most prestigious economic think tanks, economic expectations had recovered "significantly" since October, but analysts' assessment of current conditions had "deteriorated considerably".

"The outlook for the German economy in the coming six months thus remains greatly subdued," ZEW said.

In other data, Eurostat reported a 3.0% increase in Eurozone construction output during February in month-on-month terms.

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