European markets climb on 6 November
An electronic information board is seen at the London Stock Exchange on 11 October, 2013 (Reuters). Reuters

European markets opened higher on 6 November, and continued trading higher thereafter, ahead of central bank meetings in Britain and Europe and of the release of economic data from the US.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index opened 0.3% higher to 322.75.

Britain's FTSE 100 and Germany's DAX 30 opened 0.3% higher.

France's CAC 40 opened 0.4% higher.

Spain's IBEX 35 was trading 0.77% higher after opening higher.

Italy's FTSE MIB was trading 0.96% higher after opening higher.

Market participants will be tracking the Bank of England (BoE) and European Central Bank's (ECB) policy meetings scheduled for 7 November, when both central banks will announce their interest rate decisions.

While the BoE is expected to leave its monetary policy unchanged, the ECB could lower its main refinancing rate, at 0.50% currently.

Preliminary data from the eurozone's statistics office showed last week that inflation unexpectedly dropped to 0.7% year-on-year in October, the lowest for nearly four years. The reading points to a stuttering economic recovery in the 17-nation bloc and could warrant an ECB rate cut, according to analysts.

The European Commission's latest forecast that Eurozone unemployment would remain near its record high for two years, amid sluggish economic growth, could also force the ECB to cut interest rates.

Market players will be tracking Eurozone-wide purchasing managers' index (PMI) data during the day, alongside industrial production data from the UK and factory orders data from Germany.

They will also be tracking US third quarter GDP data due on 7 November and the October US nonfarm payrolls data due on 8 November, which will throw more light on the health of the world's largest economy. Together, the two sets of data are expected to influence the US Federal Reserve's 18 December monetary policy decision.

Societe Generale Cross Asset Research: "No doubt that price developments will be the key topic during the 7 November ECB press conference after the flash euro HICP fell sharply to 0.7% y-o-y in October.

"Since then, market expectations of a rate cut have increased and the EUR/USD has depreciated to below 1.35.

"We believe the ECB will only hint at possibilities of action at the November meeting and wait for the new staff macroeconomic forecasts in December for a decision. We have changed our call on the ECB refinancing rate and forecast a 25bp rate cut to 0.25% in December, with an unchanged deposit rate at 0.0% and the marginal lending facility rate reduced by 50bp to 0.5%" the French bank said.

"Indeed, we have revised down our 2014 inflation forecast from 1.4% (latest GEO in September) to 1.0% y-o-y on the back of lower food prices, a higher euro exchange rate and stronger deflationary pressures in peripheral countries. We expect the ECB's staff to do likewise in December and that will be key for the rate cut decision. However, it is doubtful that a rate cut alone would have a lasting effect on the euro exchange rate. A LTRO (which we expect in Q1) would probably have a bigger effect", the French bank added.

In a separate note to clients, Societe Generale Cross Asset Research said: "Real US Q3 2013 GDP is now projected at 2.3% annualised (vs 3% prior), and 3% in Q4 2013 (vs 3.6% prior). Because of this revision, we look for tapering to start in March 2014 and end in the summer of next year".

Standard Chartered said in a note to clients: "The 30 October Federal Open-Market Committee (FOMC) statement had an overall neutral tone, and kept a 'tapering' bias, signalling that a reduction in quantitative easing (QE) remains on the Fed's horizon. The main take-away, in our view, is that the Fed still awaits more evidence of a pick-up in growth and employment".

"This does not appear to be on the near-term horizon, even when looking through the October government shutdown. This week's data should confirm a soft underlying trend. Our forecasts are slightly below consensus for both Q3 GDP (1.8% q/q SAAR, consensus: 2.0%), and October payrolls (110,000; consensus: 120,000). This lacklustre data supports our view that tapering is unlikely before March.

"Recent comments by St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, a 'centrist', support this view", the British bank added.

In company news, French advertising group Havas will put out its earnings update during the day.

British insurance provider Old Mutual said that its third-quarter total gross sales rose 11% to £6.506bn from £5.853bn a year ago.

Dutch financial services major ING Groep reported an 85% drop in third quarter net income to €101m from a year ago.

Swiss staffing solutions major Adecco reported a 61% jump in third quarter net profit to €191m from €118m a year ago. The firm also said that the demand for temporary staffing across Europe was expected to rise as the region emerges from a recession.

French cement maker Lafarge said that for the third quarter, its net income group share hovered at €304m, against last year's €303m.

French power and transportation solutions provider Alstom said it could raise between €1bn and €2bn by December 2014, from a potential stake sale and asset disposals. The firm said that its half-yearly net profit dropped 3% to €375m on sales of €9.73bn.

In Asia and the US

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei finished 0.79% higher while Australia's S&P/ASX ended 0.03% higher on 6 November.

The Shanghai Composite finished 0.82% lower while South Korea's Kospi closed 0.01% lower.

Earlier, markets outside Japan and Australia traded lower as investors exercised caution, ahead of major events later in the week.

On Wall Street, indices witnessed mixed trade after positive US services industry data sparked concerns that the Fed could trim its $85bn a month stimulus program sooner than expected.

Service-sector activity in the world's leading economy picked up in October. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its services index rose a point to 55.4 that month.

The data fuelled fears of a Fed quantitative easing taper, which weighed down on most indices.

The Dow finished 20.9 points lower or 0.1% at 15,618.22 while the S&P 500 closed 4.96 points lower or 0.3%at 1,762.97.

However, the Nasdaq index ended 3.27 points higher or 0.1% to 3,939.86.