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European Markets Up on Positive News Headlines

European Markets Up on Positive News Headlines

Jeremy Naylor, Contributor

German businesses are feeling more positive than ever, according to today’s release of the closely watched Ifo business survey. Coming in at 115.1, it was forecast to fall slightly from last month’s 114.6 reading. It measures business confidence across the construction, wholesale and retail industries and comes at a time when the German economy is already performing well with record low unemployment and growth in the first quarter at 0.6%.

As for Italian banks, Rome has released €5.2 billion in emergency funding to wind up the failing Banca Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca, with the country's finance minister saying the total bailout costs might reach 17 billion euros.

The government thrashed out the deal with Italy's biggest and best-capitalized retail bank, Intesa Sanpaolo, to take over the failing banks' remaining assets, and agreed to provide further "guarantees" of up to €12 billion. In its turn, Intesa symbolically invested one euro and insisted that its own dividend policy remains intact.

Nestle shares hit an all-time high today after Third Point, the US registered hedge fund owned by activist investor Daniel Loeb, bought a more than 1 percent stake in the Swiss food producer worth close on 3.3bln Swiss francs.

As an activist investor, Loeb has been behind change at companies including Yahoo and Sony, and he's urging Nestle to improve its margins, buy back stock and shed non-core businesses.

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--- Written by Jeremy Naylor, DailyFX

DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.