Here’s What to Watch in European Stocks This Morning

(Bloomberg) -- Good morning. Here’s what to watch ahead of the market open in Europe, including Chinese data, Theresa May in the House of Commons, and hope for a mega European rail deal. 

China Lift

Better-than-expected Chinese industrial production and retail sales data helped spur a rise in Asian stocks, despite fourth-quarter economic growth slowing slightly, as predicted by economists. The statistics could help China-dependent sectors like materials, luxury and tech this morning. Note, though, that progress on China reaching a trade deal with the U.S. is reported to be stumbling over a disagreement on intellectual property use. 

May’s Move

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May will appear in the House of Commons later. Having been unable to reach a cross-party consensus for the way forward on Brexit, she will now seek changes to the Irish border arrangement she’s negotiated with the European Union, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. Meanwhile, EU governments disagree over how long they think the U.K. should delay Brexit, with some pushing for an extension of as much as a year, diplomats said.


U.K. high street bookmaker William Hill Plc reports quarterly results amid continued regulatory uncertainty surrounding the sector’s push into U.S. sports betting. The company’s stock price halved last year as analysts warned it might be losing market share in its home country and the British government finally cracked down on the use of fixed-odds betting terminals. 

Rail Hope

Siemens AG and Alstom SA’s endangered plan for a rail merger was given some hope  after France vowed to step in to try to convince Europe’s top antitrust official not to block the deal. Alstom warned last week that the combination could be blocked due to concern it would stifle competition in the European train-equipment market.

Have Your Cake

The U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority is investigating HSBC Holdings Plc and Barclays Plc over potential governance failings in their monitoring of current accounts and overdraft facilities for Patisserie Holdings, the Sunday Times of London reported. An audit of the bakery chain’s accounts found thousands of false entries, Patisserie said last week. 

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