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Lloyds finishes higher after Branches sales

Concerns about a slowdown in the world’s powerhouse started to ease this Thursday morning as European Stocks rose for a second day, driven up by corporate earnings in the U.S. and Europe that both exceeded analysts’ estimates. Also Asian and U.S. futures were up in early trading and gold edge up at $1,584/oz (+0.83%) after two straight sessions of losses.

More pessimistically seems the situation for the UK which announced weaker retail data than expected. The data, showing the growth of retail sales, fell from 1.5% to 0.1% and missed even the expectation of a 0.6% growth. The fall of fuel sales and demand for food put the London-listed biggest single retailers, including Kingfisher (-0.4%), Tesco (-0.5%) and Whitbread (-0.1%), back under pressure.

Llyod Shares opened marginally lower (-0.3%) this morning after the Co-operative Group confirmed to buy Llyods’ 632 branches for a price tag of £750million, much less than the £1.5 billion offer made one year ago. After Lloyds’ part-nationalisation in 2009 the sale was demanded by European regulators and takes the Co-op’s total branches to almost 1,000, creating a new force in the UK retail banking sector. In the later after-noon however shares edged up 1%, possibly as investors welcomed some clarity on the deal.

Elsewhere in the U.S, the number of American people who applied for jobless benefits last week increased by 34,000K to 386,000 and hits analysts’ forecasts of 365K. The disappointing data were related to a change in the timing of annual automobile plant layoffs, according to a Labour Department spokesman.

European Stock Markets closed up mostly positive today, with the FTSE100 at 5.708 up 0.40% and the German DAX as best performer finishing at 6752 up 1.02%.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by James .

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