Europe Economy

European Shares Seen Higher, Investors Digest Short-Selling Ban

European stocks were expected to open higher on Friday after a late recovery on Thursday following better-than-expected employment data from the United States.

Jan Mammey | Stock4B | Getty Images

London's FTSE 100 is expected to open 40 points higher, while Germany's DAX is called higher by 36 points, the CAC 40 is predicted to be up by 9 points.

A ban on short-selling in France, Italy, Spain and Belgium will take effect on Friday after the European Union's financial market regulator ESMA announced the move on Thursday evening following two days of volatile trading which saw the market value of French banks rise and fall by billions. 

The ban will last for the next fifteen days in France and Spain and an indefinite period in Belgium as part of an effort to restore confidence in markets blighted by rumors.

In Asia, most markets followed Wall Street where the Dow and S&P rallied as investors bought up falling stocks and in response to news of the short-selling ban in Europe and improved US employment data.

The safe-havenSwiss Francsuffered heavy losses against the dollar and the euro in Asian trading after a Swiss newspaper reported Thursday that the Swiss National Bank (SNB) could ease monetary policy to curb the strength of the currency.

The bank's vice chairman, Thomas Jordan also refused to rule out the possibility of pegging the Swiss currency to the under pressure euro, sending the currency tumbling.

French GDP data showed zero growth in the second quarter, falling short of a Reuters forecast of 0.3 percent. 

The disappointing data follows a first quarter growth rate of 0.9 percent and is likely to compound market concerns over France.

European Union industrial production figures for July will be released at 10:00 UK time, along with the second quarter GDP estimate from Greece which is expected to show a contraction of around 5 percent.

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