European stocks are called to open higher Wednesday despite Asian shares falling overnight on concerns that China’s economic slowdown could be longer lasting.
The FTSE 100 is seen opening higher by just 2 points, the DAX is called up by 22 points and the CAC 40 higher by 25 points.
Budgets are unveiled in both the UK and Germany on Wednesday. In the UK, Finance Minister George Osborne will reveal a budget that’s expected to contain measures designed both to help lower earners and to scrap the politically contentious 50 percent tax rate for top earners.
A number of analysts see anything significant in terms of tax cuts or giveaways as highly unlikely, given ongoing austerity measures in the UK and the limited funds the government has to work with.
Some reports suggest the chancellor will target wealthy home owners in London by increasing the taxes paid on houses – stamp duty – to 7 percent for homes over £2 million pounds ($3.2 million).
In Germany, fiscal discipline is expected in the budget as the government there has pledged to bring the budget near to balance in 2014, two years earlier than planned.
Latest reports in the developing story of French police’s hunt for a killer who has shot a number of people in the Toulouse area suggest a raid has taken place at a house with shots fired.
Reports quote French Interior Minister Claude Gueant as saying the suspect at the house had claimed links to Al-Qaeda.