Germany industry output better than expected
German industrial output fell just 0.5 percent in February, well above the 1.8 percent drop expected by analysts, proving a welcome boost for the German economy.
The German Economy Ministry said in a statement:
“Overall, the industrial sector got off to a relatively good start in 2016 although seasonal factors led to shifts in production and the construction sector benefited from the mild winter.”
The manufacturing and construction sectors are expected to post solid gains in the first quarter, the ministry added.
Pfizer-Allergen merger stopped by Obama
The major merger between US drug company Pfizer and Irish-based Allergen will no longer be going ahead, after a drive by President Obama to prevent tax-dodging corporate mergers.
The $160 billion merger would have seen Pfizer redomicile to Ireland, where Allergan is registered, to cut down its tax obligation in the US. Obama has called on congress to prevent deals such as these happening, and the breakdown of the merger will be a great victory for his campaign.
Obama said, “while the Treasury Department’s actions will make it more difficult… to exploit this particular corporate inversions loophole, only Congress can close it for good.”
According to Reuters, Pfizer and Allergan will announce the termination of their deal later today.
European stocks up on stronger oil
European markets rose in early trading on Wednesday after a bad session on Tuesday, wth energy firms pushing higher on stronger oil prices.
The STOXX Europe Oil and Gas index is the day’s biggest riser so far, with shares in Royal Dutch Shell rising 1 percent.
The FTSE is currently up 0.49 percent, with the CAC40 up 0.53 percent and the DAX up 0.15 percent (0909GMT).
WIT and Brent Crude are up 0.53 percent and 0.48 percent respectively.