Live news: German trade surplus falls for fifth year despite record exports

Economic news: Huw Pill, Chief Economist of the Bank of England, delivers a speech on the outlook for UK monetary policy at the annual conference of the Society of Professional Economists, while Sweden’s Riksbank holds its policy meeting currency in Stockholm. A range of companies report results on Wednesday.

L’Oreal: The French consumer group published strong third quarter results in October. Quarterly like-for-like sales increased 13% year-on-year to nearly €8 billion, bringing the nine-month figure to €23.2 billion, with accelerated growth to 14, 9% compared to the same quarter in 2019. L’Oréal publishes its annual results.

GlaxoSmithKline: The British pharmaceutical group publishes its results for the fourth quarter. GSK raised its full-year earnings forecast in October. He now expects adjusted earnings per share to decline between 2 and 4 percentage points, better than his previous forecast of a mid-to-high single-digit decline. GSK reported overall third-quarter sales of £9.1 billion, up 10% from the same period a year earlier and better than analysts’ forecast of £8.7 billion.

Barratt Developments: The FTSE 100 property builder releases its first-half results on Wednesday. Barratt’s earnings have surged over the past fiscal year as the housing market rebounded. It reported adjusted operating profit of £919m, a sharp rise from £507m a year earlier and ahead of the £876m expected in analyst forecasts compiled by S&P Capital IQ .

Maersk Group: The world’s largest container shipping group publishes its fourth quarter results. Maersk had a stellar third quarter, nearly quintupling its operating profit to $5.9 billion, more than it has made in a year since 2014.

Earnings: Akzo Nobel, Europe’s largest paint producer, will release its fourth quarter results, as will Dutch bank ABN Amro, while Dutch payments company Adyen will release its second half results. UK furniture retailer Dunelm reports first half results and energy company Equinor reports fourth quarter results. The Swedish bank Handelsbanken will publish its annual results.

Markets: Euro Stoxx 50 and FTSE 100 futures both rose 0.8%. Shares in most Asia-Pacific markets rose on Wednesday, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rising 2.3%, supported by gains from technology companies and metals groups. In the United States on Tuesday, the S&P 500 index rose 0.8%, supported by bank stocks, while the Nasdaq Composite index gained 1.3%. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury note, which underpins global borrowing costs and stock market valuations, also hit a high of 1.97%, a level not seen since late 2019.

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