London: Europe’s leading stock markets nudged upwards on Tuesday amid mixed economic data and following sharp rises in Tokyo and overnight on Wall Street.
In late morning trading, London’s FTSE 100 index of leading shares rose 0.05% to 4,296.28 points.
Frankfurt’s DAX 30 advanced 0.15% to 4,892.39 points and the Paris CAC 40 grew 0.04% to 3,194.86 points nearing the half-way stage.
The DJ Euro Stoxx 50 index of leading eurozone shares climbed 0.11% to 2,440.45 points.
On the foreign exchange market, the European single currency rose to $1.4132.
Investors digested news that Britain’s economy shrank in the first quarter at its sharpest pace in more than 50 years and data showing inflation in the 16 countries using the euro turned negative in June for the first time.
The British economic growth data was “tempered by a rise in UK consumer confidence, getting to its best levels since April last year, suggesting that at least there are some who think we are over the worst of the recession,” said IG Index analyst Anthony Grech.
British gross domestic product (GDP) contracted 2.4% in the first three months of the year from the final quarter of 2008, the Office for National Statistics said on Tuesday.
“This is the largest decrease since the second quarter of 1958,” the ONS said in a statement.
On a year-on-year basis, Britain’s economy declined by 4.9% in the first quarter, the largest contraction since records began in 1948, and compared to the statistic office’s earlier estimate of minus 4.1%.
In the area of company news, BP shares advanced 0.81% to 486.65 pence after the British oil giant and China’s CNPC International were unveiled as the first foreign firms in decades to win contracts to develop Iraq’s energy sector.
The groups succeeded in their bid for the giant Rumaila oil field in southern Iraq, which has known reserves of 17.7 billion barrels, the Iraqi oil ministry announced.
The contract was the first to be awarded in open tendering for six major oil fields and two gas fields, nearly four decades after Saddam Hussein’s party nationalized the Iraqi energy sector.
The deals will provide the government with much-needed revenue as it struggles to rebuild the country after three wars and more than a decade of debilitating economic sanctions.