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Europe open: German stocks rise on export data

Date: Friday 24 Feb 2012

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-Germany will ask for Greek reforms before second aid package-Handelsblatt
-Greece will add remnant of first package to second-Sueddeutsche Zeitung.
-G20 will press Europe to do more in exchange for foreign help.
-Germany´s ruling parties want to block any increase in rescue fund.
-Traders looking out to LTRO, some say.

FTSE-100: 0.09%
Dax-30: 0.85%
Euro Stoxx 50: 0.40%
Cac-40: 0.45%
Ibex 35: -0.24%

European stocks have begun the day higher for the most part, although they did show some hesitancy just after the opening bell. According to some commentators traders are looking out, and positively so, to next week´s long-term liquidity auction (LTRO) from the European Central Bank. However, the Greek crisis, which acts as a bit of a proxy for the rest of the periphery, is still out there.

Thus, many in the markets are watching the news-flow as regards whether or not the European fire-wall against the crisis will be built up or not. Significantly, if confirmed, The Telegraph reports that Germany´s ruling parties want to push legislation expressly prohibiting any such increase. That may, in turn, risk any possible contributions from outside the Eurozone.

All of the above ahead of this weekend´s meeting of G-20 leaders.

Acting as a backdrop, once again, we have the rise in energy quotes, which is drawing quite a bit of attention.

EQUITIES

French construction group Eiffage has forecast stronger earnings for this year, ending its shares sharply higher.

Telecom Italia has cut its dividend by 25%, joining several of its peers. SAP on the other hand has announced an 83% increase in its pay-out.

German carmaker Volkswagen has more than doubled its profit after tax in 2011 to €16bn, according to Reuters.

Telefónica has revealed an almost 50% drop in annual net profits this morning.

Barclays Capital has downgraded European banks to underperform from neutral.

MACROECONOMY

Germany´s gross domestic product grew at a 0.2% quarter-on-quarter rate in the last three months of 2011, in line with preliminary estimates, although exports fell less than previously thought.

OTHER MARKETS

Front month Brent futures are up 0.29% to $123.98/barrel in ICE trading.

The Euro/dollar is up by 0.04% now, to 1.3379 dollars.

AB

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