Stocks in Germany Gain as GDP Improves

In Germany, stocks were higher Friday after a positive report from the government’s Federal Statistical Office on GDP. Germany’s DAX Index finished the day at 9,952.90 for a gain of 90.78 points or 0.92 percent. For the week the DAX was 0.84 percent higher.

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Source: Google Finance.

The report on GDP for Germany showed a quarterly increase of 0.7 percent for the first three months of the year and the annualized rate of growth was 2.7 percent. The quarterly report beat economists expectations. For the quarter economists were estimating a growth rate of 0.6 percent.

The Bank of England’s previous announcement Thursday to keep rates unchanged and warnings on the results of a U.K. exit from the European Union still continued to affect trading. The Bank of England will keep rates at 0.5 percent.

Stocks actively trading higher for the day included E.ON AG, Merck, Continental AG and Deutsche Telekom. BASF and Bayer also continued to remain on watch as the two companies are rumored to be in talks separately over a takeover of Monsanto. BASF was up 1.1 percent for the day and Bayer gained 1 percent. Monsanto was also higher adding 1.01 percent.

In Europe, other notable index closes included France’s CAC 40 which closed at 4,319.99 for a gain of 26.72 points or 0.62 percent; the Stoxx Europe 600 which closed at 334.68 for a gain of 1.57 points or 0.47 percent; and the Stoxx Europe 50 which closed at 2,805.56 for a gain of 18.87 points or 0.68 percent.

In Asia, stocks traded mostly lower. In China, the Shanghai Composite was down -8.75 points or -0.31 percent to close at 2,827.11. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was down -196.17 points or -0.99 percent to close at 19,719.29. Japan’s Nikkei 225 was down -234.13 points or -1.41 percent to close at 16,412.21. The S&P BSE Sensex was down -300.65 points or -1.17 percent to close at 25,489.57 and India’s NSE Nifty was down -85.50 points or -1.08 percent to 7,814.90. As a broad market measure, the Asia Dow was down -53.77 points or -2.04 percent to 2,579.87.

In the U.S., stocks traded lower as retail earnings continued to disappoint investors. Nordstrom, JCPenney, Dillard’s, Macy’s, Kohl’s and Gap were the main retail stocks affecting valuations Friday. Apple also traded lower this week as analysts increase speculation over the firm’s research and development activities as the firm’s product sales are trending substantially lower. On Friday the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down -185.18 points or -1.05 percent to 17,535.32. The S&P 500 was down -17.50 points or -0.85 percent to 2,046.61. The Nasdaq Composite was down -19.66 points or -0.42 percent to 4,717.68.

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