Afternoon comment courtesy of Spreadex

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Europeans markets retreat as a number of corporate earnings eased settlement. Chemical giant BASF reported profit that missed analyst estimates whilst the phone network Orange posted an 8.5 percent drop in earnings. 

Figures from the UK gave investors some positive signs that the UK economy is improving. Economic growth accelerated in the second quarter in all main industries for the first time in three years. Gross domestic product increased 0.6 percent, evidence the economy is gradually getting back on its feet. 

Jobless claims from the US grew in the last month as annual auto-plant shutdowns continued to affect data. Jobless claims rose by an expected 7,000 to 343,000 in the week ended July 20thwhilst core durable goods orders came in below expectations, reporting a 0.5% decline in orders.

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