3:00 PM Frankfurt Ė European markets traded sideways and Italian economic shrinkage was revised to 0.6%. French industrial output increased in April from March but the production was still lower than a year ago month. Resource stocks in Europe declined after China reported weak trade data.
European markets halted decline in the late afternoon trading as investors took an optimistic view of improving economic conditions in Japan and the debt rating upgrade for the U.S.
In London trading, FTSE 100 index slid 0.2% or 10.45 to 6,402 and in Frankfurt the DAX index increased 0.8% or 68.05 to 8,323.
In Paris, CAC 40 index inched lowered 0.1% or 2.63 to 3,870.
Italian GDP Shrinks, French Confidence Index Unchanged
Italian economy shrank 0.6% in the first quarter more than 0.5% decline estimated previously, National Statistics Institute based in Rome said today.
Italian exports in the first quarter declined 1.9% and industrial output declined unexpectedly in April.
Italian economy is expected to shrink 1.8% in the current year before stabilizing in 2014, according to estimates from several agencies in Europe.
Separately, the Bank of France said its index of sentiment among factory managers was unchanged at 94 and an index of service companies decreased to 88 from 89.
In addition, French national statistics office Insee said today, output increased 2.2% in April after falling 0.2% in March but still declined 0.5% from a year ago month.
French economy is expected to shrink as much as 0.2% in the current year and exports are struggling in the face of stiff competition from Asian rivals.
Miners Fall on Weak Chinese Data
Japanís Cabinet Office revised its estimate of March quarter economic growth to 4.1% from the previous estimate of 3.5%. The yen also declined 1.3% against the dollar as the Bank of Japan started its 2-day policy meeting today.
Weaker than expected economic data also weighed on the sentiment and resource companies led the decliners.
The General Administration of Customs in China reported May export growth declined to 1% and imports declined 0.3%. The latest government data showed export weakness after Chinese regulators cracked down on phony export invoicing.
The increase in exports was the smallest in a year and imports declined against the estimate of an increase of as much as 6% by several economists.
Brent Crude declined to $104 a barrel after the release of softer Chinese economic data and copper decreased to a 3-week low of $7.139 a ton.
Stocks in Review
rose 0.8% to 3,328.50 after the UK based biopharmaceutical agreed to acquire a privately held Pearl Therapeutics valued $1.15 billion for respiratory disease.
fell 0.9% to 242.30 pence after the UK based security solution provider said William H. Gates III, the chairman of Microsoft increased his stake of 45,224,081 shares in the company which represents 3.2% of the company''s total voting rights.
Marks and Spencer Group plc
added 0.1% to 452.80 pence after the UK based retailer plans to invest £200 million into a new distribution centre at London Gateway.