European markets witness mixed trade on 15 November
European markets witness mixed trade on 15 November (Reuters)

European markets outside Germany opened higher on 15 November, and witnessed mixed trade thereafter, even after dovish remarks from US Federal Reserve Vice Chair Janet Yellen, who is set to head the world's most powerful central bank.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index opened 0.2% higher to 323.18.

Britain's FTSE 100 index opened 0.3% higher.

France's CAC 40 index opened 0.1% higher.

Germany's DAX 30 index opened flat.

Spain's IBEX 35 was trading 0.25% lower after opening higher.

Italy's FTSE MIB was trading 0.53% lower after opening higher.

In the US, speaking at her confirmation hearing before the US Senate Banking Committee, Yellen said the US central bank would not reduce its $85bn-a-month asset-buying stimulus program anytime soon.

"These purchases have made a meaningful contribution to economic growth and improving the outlook," she said.

Standard Chartered said in a note to clients: "The passing of the baton to Janet Yellen will be one of the most significant events for financial markets for years to come as the future trajectory of US monetary policy will cast a long shadow across all asset classes. Yellen's credentials as a committed dove are well established and her prepared testimony reflects this outlook".

"However, we do not think her prepared remarks represent a departure from the previous policy trajectory and expect her to offer a more balanced and nuanced tone than her introductory remarks during the Q&A session of her confirmation hearing. If correct, this could offer near-term broad support for the US dollar", the British bank added.

Meanwhile, Unicredit Research said in a note to clients that 14 November's lower Eurozone-wide GDP figure was not a matter of concern: "According to the Eurostat flash estimate, eurozone GDP growth slowed to +0.1% qoq in the third quarter (from +0.3% in 2Q), in line with our and the consensus forecast. In yoy terms, GDP came in at -0.4% from -0.6%".

"We have argued several times that the GDP deceleration in 3Q is not reason for concern, because it mostly reflects the reversal of the temporary factors that boosted growth in 2Q (when GDP surprised to the upside by a wide margin)".

"Looking through data volatility, the trend in activity remains upwards, as indicated by rising business and consumer sentiment. Accordingly, we see GDP growth re-accelerating in 4Q, probably to 1% annualized (and risks may well be to the upside)", Unicredit added.

The Eurozone's statistics office will release final inflation data for the month of October, at 10:00 hrs GMT.

In company news, Swedish retailer H&M will put out its October trading report during the day.

London-headquartered miner Vedanta Resources said that its profit before taxation for the six months to 30 September dropped to $261.1m (£162.5, €194.1m). from $1.068bn a year ago.

Earlier, Greece's Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said his government would not introduce any new austerity measures.

"No austerity measures are needed. They are dangerous; we should let the automatic stabilizers work. We are willing to take structural measures with a fiscal impact, but not austerity measures," Stournaras told CNBC on 14 November.

In Asian and the US

The Japanese Nikkei finished 1.95% higher on 15 November. South Korea's Kospi finished 1.94% higher, the Shanghai Composite finished 1.68% while Australia's S&P/ASX finished 0.86% higher.

Financial markets in India were closed for a public holiday and trading will resume on 18 November.

Markets enjoyed a relief-rally on Friday, with the Japanese Nikkei finishing above 15,000 points for the first time since May, after Yellen signalled her support for the Fed's ultra-easy monetary policy.

Japanese equities gained on the back of a weaker yen, which was pulled down by a stronger US dollar that breached the 100 yen level overnight on Yellen's remarks.

Markets in China were also supported by news that the government could release a more detailed version of the Third Plenum communique next week - investors await a clearer picture of Beijing's reform road-map.

On Wall Street, indices ended higher with the Dow and the S&P 500 finishing at record highs as investors cheered Yellen's dovish stance.

The Dow finished 54.59 points higher or 0.4% at 15,876.22.

The S&P 500 closed 8.62 points higher or 0.5% at 1,790.62.

The Nasdaq ended 9.57 points higher or 0.3% at 3,415.14.

"Everyone is focused on this Yellen hearing, clearly she is going to continue the policies in place. It's always nice to hear it reaffirmed," Peter Sidoti of Sidoti & Co told CNBC, referring to Yellen's 14 November testimony.