European stocks hold below eight-week highs following mixed results from blue-chip stocks

<p>European shares were steady today, holding below eight-week highs hit in the previous session after a batch of mixed results from blue chip companies like […]</p>

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European shares were steady today, holding below eight-week highs hit in the previous session after a batch of mixed results from blue chip companies like Unilever and BT Group prompted investors to take profits.

In the UK, the best and worst performing stocks today included: Rolls-Royce, up 34p after announcing that first half profit climbing after manufacturers Boeing / Airbus delivered more planes.

BT exceeded earnings estimates in the run up to premium Sports TV channels.

Easyjet was up 16p at 1400.

On the other hand, BASF was down 3%, while Carnival /Admiral Group AMEC opened slightly down.

US futures were also little changed, while Asian shares declined.

The FTSE was trading at 6597, DAX at 8349 and DOW futures at 15542.

In currencies, GBP/EUR was trading at 1.1617, GBP/USD at 1.5348 and EUR/USD at 1.3212. USD/JPY has fallen below 100.

Gold is currently trading at $ 1318.

In economic data, Spain’s unemployment fell for the first time in two years in the second quarter, bolstering Prime Minister Rajoy’s forecast of an economic recovery.

Looking ahead, the German IFO Business Climate will be released at 9am BST, followed by the second quarter UK Prelim GDP at 9.3-am. US unemployment claims and Core Durable Goods Orders will be announced at 1.30pm, followed by a speech by US Treasury Secretary Lew at 1.45pm.


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