European markets open higher on 12 August
European markets open higher on 12 August ahead of the release of eurozone-wide GDP data this week.

European markets opened higher on Monday ahead of a flurry of eurozone GDP data releases that could confirm an economic recovery in the region.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index opened 0.1% higher to 306.16.

Britain's FTSE 100 index opened 0.2% higher.

Germany's DAX and France's CAC opened 0.1% higher.

Spain's IBEX was up 0.01% in opening trade while Italy's FTSE MIB gained 0.15%

GDP data from Germany, France, and the eurozone's statistics office this week is expected to reveal that the 17-member bloc's recession has ended.

In addition, a Reuters survey of market economists said that the eurozone's economy will, in fact, grow by 0.2% in the April to June second quarter.

Meanwhile, market participants will be tracking preliminary GDP data coming in from Greece during the day. They will also be tracking bond auctions in Germany, France and Italy on Monday.

In company news, UK-based financial services company Prudential, Austrian energy company OMV, and Telekom Austria will release their earnings updates.

Elsewhere, hourly wages have fallen more sharply in the UK than in any European Union country other than Greece, Portugal and the Netherlands..

In Asia and the US

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei finished 0.70% lower on Monday. Australia's S&P/ASX closed 1.07% higher, while South Korea's Kospi ended 0.22% higher.

Earlier in Asia, a rally in Chinese equities boosted most markets following a raft of upbeat economic data from Beijing. However, Japanese stocks were pulled down by lower-than-expected growth data.

Sentiment in China was boosted by last week's positive economic data, which suggested that the world's second largest economy was stabilising.

In Japan, government data released on Monday showed the country's gross domestic product grew at an annualised rate of 2.6% in the April-June quarter, lower than the 3.6% forecast. Growth in the first three months of 2013 was revised down to 3.8% on an annualised basis, compared with the earlier estimate of 4.1%.

"With uncertainty over [US] Federal Reserve stimulus measures lurking in the background, markets are struggling to find direction," said Rivkin Securities global analyst Tim Radford. "Given it's a relatively quiet economic week ahead, we could expect to see equities track sideways."

Stock markets outside mainland China finished lower in the week ended 10 August. The Shanghai Composite led the pack while the Japanese Nikkei trailed.

On Wall Street, indices ended lower on 9 August and logged their worst week since June, owing to concerns surrounding the future pace of the US Federal Reserve's asset buys.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished 72.81 points lower at 15,425.51, pulled down by Disney and Home Depot. The S&P 500 index closed 6.06 points lower at 1,691.42, while the Nasdaq Composite index ended 9.02 points lower at 3,660.11.

For the week ended 10 August, the Dow ended 1.49% lower, the S&P 500 was down 1.07% and the Nasdaq declined 0.80%.