German business confidence improved in December, with the IFO index rising to 111 which meets analysts’ expectations. The Ifo Business Climate Index for rose to 111 in December from 110.4 in November. This marks the strongest level since April 2014, as sentiment improved among manufacturers, constructors and wholesalers but remained unchanged for retailers.
European markets were last seen trading flat to lower with Germany’s DAX trading flat at 11403.75, U.K.’s FTSE 100 losing 0.2 percent at 6998.70, France’s CAC 40 slipping 0.2 percent at 4822.30 while the Euro Stoxx added 0.1 percent at 3255.00 as of 10:35 GMT.
Dublin argued that it should be allowed to choose how much it levies on foreign companies and the Irish government has stated that they would appeal E.U.’s rule to charge Apple 13 billion euros in taxes. EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager’s has hit Apple with the back-tax bill based on its longtime reporting of European-wide profits through Ireland. It is important to note that Apple is being charged for sales on Irish territory at Europe-low rates that in had been greatly reduced by the controversial use of shell companies at home and abroad.
Oil prices rose today as analysts anticipate tighter crude supply going into 2017 following the decision by OPEC and other producers to cut output to prop up prices. It is worth noting that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers have agreed on cutbacks of almost 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in oil production due to be implemented in January 2017. In today’s energy markets, Crude futures added 0.3 percent to last trade at $53.12 while Brent futures also advanced 0.3 percent to last trade at $55.40 as of 10:35 GMT.