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European shares waver on Spainís tension, Chinaís data
Spain`s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy faced calls from opposition Socialist Party to resign over a corruption scandal that has engulfed the ruling Popular Party.
Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, the socialist opposition leader has now called on Rajoy to resign and allow another person to lead the government for the good of the country.
Spainís Rajoy emphatically denied reports that he and other leaders from his center-right had received ďunder-the-tableĒ payments. Rajoy is alleged to have received payments from a slush fund averaging 25,000 Euros a year, between 1997 and 2008 from companiesí donations which are often competing to win government tenders.
Spainís Prime Ministers Rjoy is scheduled to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel ahead of EU summit for or an update on Spainís economic situation.
Moreover, European shares tracked some of the sharp gains in Asia after signs that the world second largest economy continues to recover as Services industries, which contributed with 45% of the GDP last year, showed an improvement last month on advance in retailing and construction.
Chinese services sector recorded the fastest expansion over more than six months in retailing and construction support to Chinese government, Non-manufacturing Purchasing Mangers` Index (PMI) showed a widening expansion to 56.2 in January from 56.1 in December.
As of 03:02 EST, the French CAC 40 rose 0.02% to 3,774.11 points; German DAX edged lower by 0.13% to 7,822.97 points, FTSE 100 traded lower by 0.27 % to 6,329.81 points. STX Europe 600 rose slightly 0.05% to 288.35.
In Italy, Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi pledged to hand back property tax payment imposed by Prime Minister Mario Montiís government if he was elected.
Berlusconi said that he would order the refund what citizens paid for the real estate tax known as IMU, which was reinstated last year as part of Monti`s austerity budget in the crisis-hit country after it had been abolished in 2008 by Berlusconi.
According to Berlusconi, only his coalition could lift Italy out of the dark cloud of recession and reestablish the lost trust between government and citizens.
However, the key euro-zone event will be the European Central Bank (ECB) interest-rate announcement and related press conference Thursday. The bank will hold interest rate at 0.75% and will refrain from announcing another round of cheap loans to banks.
The Bank of England (BOE) will also announce interest rates on Thursday where itís expected to leave its stock of asset purchases unchanged at £375 billion and its bank rate unchanged at 0.5 percent. BOE is also
As of 10:39 AM (GMT +2), the EUR/USD rose to hover around $1.3559 after opening at $1.3563. So far, the pair set a session high of $1.3583 and low of $1.3543.
In corporate news, Randgold Resources is the only major company set to release report earnings due today.