Markets

European markets open slightly higher; earnings, inflation data in focus

The pan-European Stoxx 600 edged up 0.15 percent during early morning deals with sectors and major bourses pointing in opposite directions.

HSBC, Europe’s largest bank, reported a set of financial results that beat estimates in the first half of 2017 and announced a $2 billion share buyback on the back of a growing capital base. The bank said its pre-tax profit for the first half of 2017 came in at $10.24 billion, 5 percent higher than a year ago and beating the $9.5 billion average estimate by analysts polled by the bank.

On the data front, Monday will see euro zone core inflation for July released at 10 a.m. London time. The annual rate is expected to hold steady at around 1.3 percent, according to a Reuters poll.

Meantime, investors remained wary of geopolitical uncertainty on Monday after North Korea conducted another missile test late on Friday. Pyongyang said it had proved its ability to strike the U.S. mainland, prompting Washington to respond by flying two bombers over the Korean peninsula on Sunday.

Elsewhere, EU member states – excluding the U.K. – will have until the end of the day to submit bids for hosting the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the European Banking Authority (EBA). The EMA and EBA headquarters – currently both based in London – will have to move away from the U.K. in the wake of Brexit, which is due to take effect by the end of March 2019.

Sticking with the U.K., a four-day strike is set to begin at the Bank of England on Monday. Staff working in the parlors, maintenance and security departments at Britain’s central bank are poised to walkout in protest over a 1 percent pay rise.

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