7:00 PM Frankfurt - European markets advance on the gains in banks.. EU confirms euro-zone first quarter GDP grows 0.2%. German factory orders decline in May. Greek inflation slackens in June. Total E&P Canada agrees to buy UTS Energy.
Banks were in trading focus after the regulators prepare stress test procedures. Large banks are expected to meet the stress tests requirements and may not need new capital meet regulatory requirements.
In London FTSE 100 Index traded lower 18.43 or 0.37% to 4,946.57, in Paris CAC 40 Index decreased 8.78 or 0.26% to close at 3,414.58, in Frankfurt DAX Index traded lower 19.67 or 0.33% to close at 5,921.31. In Zurich trading SMI Index decreased 16.33 or 0.27% to close at 6,046.79.
European bank regulators are due to issue the stress tests metrics aimed to assess the resilience of the major financial institutions of the euro-zone. The Committee of European Banking Supervisors will outline their tests of the region''s banks.
The European financial system has shown signs of strain associated with the mounting sovereign debt problems of a number of EU member states.
European Union statistics office Eurostat today confirmed 0.2% sequential growth in euro-zone gross domestic product in the first quarter after rising at 0.1% in the fourth quarter of last year. The economy expanded 0.6% annually in the first three months of 2010, after shrinking 2.1% in the previous three-month period.
Compared to the previous year, EU27 GDP rebounded with a 0.5% growth.
Germany''s seasonally adjusted factory orders fell in May for the first time in five months, according to data released by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology today.
Driven by weak demand from euro-zone, factory orders fell 0.5% in May from a revised 3.2% growth in April. Domestic orders fell 0.6% and foreign orders dropped 0.3%.
On an annual basis, seasonally adjusted total factory orders grew 24.8% in May, slower than April''s 30.1% increase.
Greek consumer price inflation eased in June, the statistics office said today. The consumer price index rose 5.2% year-on-year in June, slower than a 5.4% growth in the previous month. Inflation rate eased for the first time since May 2009.
Month-on-month, the CPI slipped 0.3% in June, compared to a 0.8% growth in the preceding month.
The French trade deficit increased to 5.5 billion in May from 4.25 billion in April, data from the Customs Office noted the largest deficit since October 2008.
UTS Energy Corp. announced that its board has unanimously approved a plan of arrangement, whereby Total E&P Canada Ltd. would acquire all common shares of UTS for $1.5 billion or $3.08 a share and shares in a new, publicly-traded exploration and development company, SilverBirch Energy Corp.
The company said the cash consideration to be received by UTS shareholders represents a 46% premium to the closing price on July 6 of $2.11 per share and a 36% premium to 30-day volume weighted-average trading price of $2.26.
The plan is subject to court approval and must be approved by two-thirds of the votes cast by UTS shareholders at a special meeting expected to be held in September 2010.
Intergraph Corp., an engineering and geospatial software provider, announced the signing of an agreement to be acquired by Hexagon AB, a global measurement technology company, in a transaction valued at about $2.125 billion.
The transaction is expected to be completed in the third or fourth quarter of 2010.
Gainers & Losers
Accor SA rose 1.8% to 23.20 after the hotel group was upgraded to buy from add at Oddo & Cie.