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European markets closed a touch higher on the day, as a mixture of good corporate earnings and positive economic indicators encouraged traders to go long. The eurozone debt crisis has managed to stay off the radar, which is partly due to the fact that most politicians are on holiday. The decline in the cost of borrowing for the Italian government also put the region in a good light.
The UK banking sector was the worst performer. Barclays revealed a drop in first-half profits, partially due to fines in relation to the mis-selling of financial products. Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) will release their figures on Thursday and Friday respectively.
In the US, the Dow is up 20 points at 15,541, as corporate earnings are mostly positive. Herbalife is up 4% after the nutritional products giant announced an 18% rise in sales. The firm also upped its full-year outlook. United States Steel, on the other hand, reported a smaller-than-expected second-quarter loss and is ‘cautious’ about the next three months. The stock is down 5%.