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03.03.2015 16:00

European Stocks. First hour: European indices open higher on strong German Retail Sales

European stocks open moderately higher on Tuesday. Much stronger than expected German Retail Sales added to positive sentiment. Investors now focus on the upcoming ECB meeting on Thursday.

Retail Sales in Europe's largest economy expanded in January far more than analysts had expected. The Federal statistics office Destatis stated the boost in sales comes amid lower consumer prices and strong consumption. Retailers profited from the high employment rate, the highest in Europe. Falling energy prices left consumers with more money to spend. Seasonally adjusted sales rose +2.9%, compared to revised +0.6% (previous +0.2%) in December. Analysts expected an increase of +0.6%.

On an annual basis Retail Sales rose +5.3%, the most since 2010. The previous reading was revised up from +4.0% to +4.8%.

The commodity heavy FTSE 100 index is currently trading +0.23% quoted at 6,956.35 points. Germany's DAX 30 is trading +0.24% at 11,438.22 points. Both, DAX and FTSE100 are set new all-time highs in yesterday's trading session. France's CAC 40 added by +0.12%, currently trading at 4,923.20 points.

Market focus

  • Irish PM Varadkar: Ideally Would Get Brexit Deal By Year End
  • The sentix overall index for Euro Area fell again in November from 11.4 to 8.8 points
  • UK consumer credit increased by £0.8bn in September
  • Spanish unemployment continues at its lowest levels in the last 9 years
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