By RTT News,
January 02, 2014, 05:50:00 AM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - The European markets are trading in negative territory on the first trading day of the new year, after a gauge of China's manufacturing activity declined in December. The Asian markets ended mixed while the U.S. futures point to a higher open after the New Year Holiday.
On the economic front, the German manufacturing sector expanded slightly more than initially estimated in December, final data from Markit Economics showed. The Markit/BME Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 54.3 in December from 52.7 in November, slightly above the initial estimate of 54.2.
A survey by Markit Economics showed that Eurozone's manufacturing sector growth picked up further in December, as estimated in the flash report. The headline PMI rose for the third month running to post 52.7 in December from November's score of 51.6.
However, the French manufacturing sector contracted at a faster rate in December than estimated earlier. The seasonally adjusted PMI for the manufacturing sector dropped to 47 in December from 48.4 in November, hitting the lowest level in seven months.
Meanwhile, a gauge of China's manufacturing activity declined in December, in line with the flash estimate, detailed results of a survey by Markit Economics and HSBC revealed. The headline index fell to a three-month low of 50.5 in December from 50.8 in November. Factory activity slowed in December from the previous month as export orders and output weakened.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is falling 0.83 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is 0.57 percent.
The German DAX is losing 0.69 percent, the French CAC 40 is falling 0.95 percent and the UK's FTSE 100 is sliding 0.44 percent.
In Frankfurt, chemicals giant Lanxess and insurer MunichRe are falling 2.1 percent each.
RWE is losing 2.1 percent after a report said the utility may ask shareholders to give the option to boost capital. E.ON is down 1.6 percent.
In Paris, utility Veolia Environnement and metal fabrication firm Vallourec are losing 1.6 percent each. Insurer Axa is falling 1.5 percent.
Bucking the trend, Publicis Groupe is advancing 1.9 percent.
In London, Aberdeen Asset Management is losing close to 3 percent and TUI Travel is falling 1.8 percent.
Debenhams said Simon Herrick has decided to resign from his role as Chief Financial Officer and as a director of the company with immediate effect. The stock is down 1.2 percent.
CRH, which announced a new chief executive, is modestly higher.
In Milan, Fiat is surging close to 13 percent. The carmaker struck a deal with the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust to buy the remaining 41.46 percent stake in U.S. automaker Chrysler Group LLC for $3.65 billion.
The Asian stocks ended mixed on the first trading day of the New Year in the wake of disappointing manufacturing data out of China.
Crude for February delivery is adding $0.35 to $98.77 per barrel, while gold is up $16.5 at $1218.8 a troy ounce.
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