1:45 PM Frankfurt – The European indexes gained on positive comments from German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Euro zone current account and trade surplus rose in June. German producer price inflation eased to a two-year low in July. Swiss Life first-half profit from operations rose 17%.
European indexes edged higher after comments from German Chancellor Angela Merkel appear to support the new round of bond buying by the European Central Bank.
Separately, Finland’s Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja told The Daily Telegraph that the country is preparing measures to face all possibilities including the breakup of the euro zone.
""We have to face openly the possibility of a euro-break up,"" Tuomioja was quoted as saying on Thursday.
In economic news, euro zone current account and trade surplus rose but French leading index declined in June.
In Paris trading, the CAC-40 Index gained 11.03 or 0.3% to 3,490.79 and in Frankfurt the DAX Index edged higher 23.66 or 0.4% to 7,013.19.
For the week, the CAC-40 Index rose 1.6% and the DAX Index surged 14.3%.
The yields on Spain’s benchmark 10-year bonds fell 4.9 basis points to 6.53%. Italian 10-year yields were at 5.81%.
Euro Zone Current Account Surplus Climbs
The seasonally adjusted current account surplus for the euro zone rose to €12.7 billion in June from €10.3 billion in May, according to data published by the European Central Bank today.
The current account balance for the first six months was a surplus of €49.9 billion compared to a deficit of €18.8 billion during the first half of 2011.
Separately, euro zone''s trade surplus rose to €14.9 billion in June from €7.1 billion in May, the latest data published by Eurostat showed. A year ago, the balance was in a surplus of €0.2 billion.
Seasonally adjusted exports rose 2.4% and imports remained almost stable in June compared with May.
Exports rose 12% annually to €161.5 billion, while imports increased 2% to €146.6 billion in June.
German PPI Slows
German producer price inflation eased to 0.9% in July from 1.6% in June, the Federal Statistics Office said today. A year ago, the rate of inflation was 2.1% in July.
Compared with the preceding month the index was unchanged in July. In June, the index recorded a 0.4% fall.
French Leading Index Declines
The leading economic index of the French economy dropped 0.3% sequentially to 113 in June, after falling 0.2% each in the previous two months.
The coincident economic index, which measures the current situation, remained unchanged at 104.5 in June.
Swedish Jobless Rate Drops