Wednesday, August 13 16:06:45
World stock markets ticked higher today, lifted by brighter corporate results and as oil prices plumbed 13-month lows with ample supply offsetting output disruption risks posed by tensions in Iraq and Libya.
European shares gained ground, helped in part by forecast-beating results from bellwethers such as Swiss Life .
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.3 percent, with MSCI's world stock index up 0.2 percent.
The biggest mover in currency markets was sterling, which fell 0.6 percent against the dollar to a 10-week low after the Bank of England slashed its forecast for wage growth, prompting investors to push back expectations of when interest rates would rise.
U.S. stocks index futures indicated Wall Street, which eked out slight gains on Tuesday, would open higher.
Recent market anxiety over the standoff between Russia and Ukraine ebbed slightly after Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said late on Tuesday that the possibility of Russia's military invading eastern Ukraine had receded after Moscow agreed to send in humanitarian aid under Red Cross auspices.
However, Ukraine on Wednesday denounced the dispatch of the convoy and said it would not be allowed in.
Russian shares rose more than 1 percent.
"The market is rangebound for now, with the focus on the tense situation in Ukraine, as well as on GDP figures for Germany and France due tomorrow," IG France chief market analyst Alexandre Baradez said.
"There's a lot of confusion about the Russian humanitarian convoy heading to Ukraine."
Brent crude slipped below $103 a barrel to trade at its lowest level in more than a year as supply continued strong.
September Brent crude futures, which expire on Thursday, fell as low as $102.37, the weakest for a front-month since July 1, 2013. It was the fourth day of losses for the benchmark and comes after the International Energy Agency (IEA) pointed to well-supplied global markets and a glut in the Atlantic Basin. (Reuters)
For more visit: www.businessworld.ie