Stock futures up ahead of ESM ruling


European stock futures rose before Germany's top constitutional court rules on the nation's role in the euro area bailout fund and as China signalled it has room to add more stimulus.

US index futures and Asian shares gained.

Iberdrola may be active after chairman Ignacio Galan said the company will maintain its dividend.

Xstrata and Glencore International may move after the companies were said to be nearing a takeover deal.

Futures on the Euro Stoxx 50 Index, a benchmark for the euro region, rose 0.2 per cent to 2,564 at 7.31 am in London.

Contracts on the UK's FTSE 100 Index expiring this month added less than 0.1 per cent.

Standard and Poor's 500 Index futures climbed 0.2 per cent, while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 1.2 per cent.

"European equities are set to open mixed as traders brace themselves for the German court ruling," said Jonathan Sudaria, a trader at Capital Spreads in London.

"Expectations are riding high that the court will rule that the fund is constitutional and allow it to become fully operational."

Germany's Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe yesterday rejected a last-minute bid to delay a case over the European Stability Mechanism, clearing the way for a ruling on €500 billion bailout plan today. The court is due to issue its decision at 10am.

Germany has yet to ratify the ESM treaty and if it can't join, the mechanism won't be created and bailout measures might be thrown into doubt.