By  on May 30, 2013

LONDON — Ahead of data expected to show that the U.S. housing market is growing and after the European Commission said it will allow some EU member states to slow their pace of austerity cuts, Europe’s main indexes were mostly up in mid-morning trading today.

The FTSE MIB rose 0.5 percent to 17,316.77 points. The CAC 40 in Paris climbed 0.2 percent to 3,981.66, and London’s FTSE 100 inched up 0.1 percent to 6,633.53.

The euro was trading at $1.31 and the pound at $1.51 against the dollar at 11:15 a.m. CET.

Retail and luxury stocks were mostly down, with those losing the most ground including Yoox, with a 1.2 percent decline to 15.86 euros, while Mulberry and Hermès International each dropped 0.8 percent to 10.86 pounds and 275.75 euros, respectively.

Among the stocks making gains were, up 1.2 percent to 38.97 pounds; Kering, which advanced 0.9 percent to 170 euros, and Inditex, which rose 0.4 percent to 97.68 euros.

As Europe remains broadly in recession — the 17-member euro zone shrank by 0.2 percent in the first three months of the year — it is expected to register negative growth for 2013 as a whole. Under the European Commission’s ruling, France, Spain, Poland, Portugal, the Netherlands and Slovenia are all being given more time to complete their austerity plans.

Meanwhile, Tokyo stocks saw another day of heavy losses today, with the Nikkei 225 shedding 5.2 percent to end the session at 13,589. Fast Retailing was one of the day's biggest losers on the exchange, dropping 11.1 percent to 33,200 yen per share.

The other Asian exchanges were faring better, with the Hong Kong Hang Seng shedding 0.3 percent and Singapore's Straits Times losing 1.1 percent in late-day trading.

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