European Markets Climb Ahead of BoE and ECB Decisions

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By m rochan | December 5, 2013 9:18 PM EST

European markets open lower on 5 December (Reuters).

European markets opened lower on 5 December amid US Federal Reserve QE taper fears. Upbeat US data on 4 December fuelled uncertainty over when the Fed could taper its massive stimulus program.

Markets traded higher thereafter, ahead of the release of key central bank decisions.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index opened 0.3% lower to 316.21.

Britain's FTSE 100 opened 0.2% lower.

France's CAC 40 opened 0.3% lower.

Germany's DAX 30 opened 0.4% lower.

Spain's IBEX 35 was trading 0.05% higher after opening lower.

Italy's FTSE MIB was trading 0.02% higher after opening lower.

Market participants will be tracking the Bank of England (BoE) and the European Central Bank's (ECB) monetary policy decisions, due out at 12:00GMT and 12:45GMT respectively.

The Euro rose to $1.3628 to the US dollar ahead of the ECB decision.

They also await the release of the widely tracked US nonfarm payrolls figures, due out on 6 December, which are expected to show an increase of 180,000 jobs for November, down from 204,000 in October.

The ADP report on US employment showed that 215,000 private sector jobs were created in November, beating expectations. Data also showed that new home sales jumped by over 25% in October.

Investors fear that upbeat economic data could force the Fed to trim its $85bn-a-month bond buying stimulus sooner than later. The central bank will announce its monetary policy decision on 18 December.

Earlier, Britain's opposition unveiled a new "Cost of Living Bombshell" poster ahead of the UK government's Autumn Statement which is set to reveal new details over economic policy.

Highlighting the rise in the cost of living for households across Britain, which is central to the Labour party's campaign, the opposition said that Britons have been worse off since the Conservative and Liberal Democrats formed a coalition.

In company news, British recycled packaging manufacturer DS Smith's stock was trading 4.62% higher at 09:32GMT in London, after the firm reported a 52% increase in half-yearly profit.

In Asia

The Shanghai Composite finished 0.21% lower while Australia's S&P/ASX finished 1.44% lower.

The Japanese Nikkei finished 1.50% lower, South Korea's Kospi finished 0.10% lower and Hong Kong's Hang Seng finished 0.07% lower.

Mumbai's BSE Sensex was trading 1.18% higher.

A bulk of all Asian markets traded lower as market players awaited the release of central bank decisions in Europe and economic data from the US.

However, in Mumbai, the rupee rose to a five-week high to the US dollar and equities gained after exit polls forecast a strong showing for the main opposition party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in recent state elections.

Investors perceive the BJP to be a more business friendly political party.

In Sydney, the benchmark index dropped to a seven-week closing low, pulled down by downbeat trade deficit data. The nation posted a seasonally adjusted trade gap of $529m for October, against a downwardly revised deficit of $271m for September.

In Seoul, equities ended lower despite upbeat growth data. South Korea's economy expanded by 1.1% in the July-September quarter, over the preceding quarter.

Wall Street Mixed

On Wall Street, most indices ended lower as investors awaited economic data for hints as to when the Fed would begin trimming its asset buys.

The Dow finished 24.8 points lower or 0.2% at 15,889.7.

The S&P 500 ended 2.34 points lower or 0.1% at 1,792.81.

The Nasdaq closed 0.80 points higher or 0.02 at 4,038.

Tim Radford, Global Analyst at Rivkin Securities said in a note to clients: "US stocks ended slightly lower overnight, but off intra-day lows, amid a mixture of data releases and the Federal Reserve beige book that hinted to further improvements in the US economy".

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