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 the results of two confidence votes, more worrying U.K. housing data, and an update from fast-fashion retailer Primark.

Talk to Me

After the U.K. government survived a vote of no confidence in Parliament, Prime Minister Theresa May said she had begun holding talks with leaders of opposition parties on how to progress with Brexit efforts. But the leader of the main opposition party, Labour‘s Jeremy Corbyn, has thus far given her the cold shoulder, she added. May is now prepared to blur her red lines to find a plan that will get through Parliament, a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. 

I’m a Survivor

Confidence votes are in vogue: There was also one in Greece last night. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras won the fourth such motion of his term in office, with 151 votes in Greece’s 300-seat chamber. The outcome eased pressure on him to call a general election, though he’ll still need to do so before his term expires in September. Having a minority government is also likely to make it difficult to legislate.

Like it’s 1999

Just as bank analysts are becoming more optimistic on U.K. homebuilder shares, data disappoints again. Near-term home sale expectations are at their lowest since records began in 1999, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, with an index of prices sliding deeper into negative territory. JPMorgan recommended buying U.K. housebuilder stocks  this week, citing the sector’s cheap valuations. 


France’s Alstom SA is giving the strongest signs yet that its deal to combine forces on rail engineering with Germany’s Siemens AG is in trouble. The company warned there’s no certainty the deal will go through. An agreement to create an an entity with about 15 billion euros ($17.1 billion) in annual sales has faced opposition from the European Union due to competition concerns.  

Primark’s Pointer

Primark is expected to report a decline in fourth quarter sales, although analysts say the festive month of December was probably a bit better than November, which owner AB Foods described as “challenging .’’ Retail trading updates released this year have been largely better than feared, according to analysts at Citi. 

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