European Shares Recover Most of Early Losses Made on China Data to End Little Changed


European stocks recovered most of their early losses made after Chinese manufacturing data showed a contraction for the second straight month. Shares ended little changed.

The preliminary HSBC/Markit February purchasing managers index fell to 48.3, lower than January's final figure of 49.5 and the 49.5 median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. A number below 50 indicates contraction.

In Europe, Markit data showed business activity in the euro zone lost momentum in February, owing to weakness in France. The monthly gauge of activity across the manufacturing and services sectors of the 18-nation euro zone, fell to 52.7 in February from 52.9 the previous month.

French consumer prices posted a record fall in January, retreating 0.6% from December, which was more than expected from analysts polled by The Wall Street Journal.

Markit's composite purchasing managers' index for Germany rose to 56.1 in February, a 32-month high, from 55.5 in January.

Italian industrial orders declined 4.9% from November in seasonally adjusted terms, whle domestic order dropped 6.4%, and foreign orders fell 2.6% from November.

In ADR news, Veolia Environnement SA ( VE ) announced a 500 million euro ($685 million) contract to handle waste management in Buenos Aires.

Statoil ASA ( STO ) said it has made a gas discovery in the Kramsno prospect in the Barents Sea, but the exploration program around the Johan Castberg field has so far not delivered expected oil volumes.

The FTSE-100 was last up 0.24% at 6,812.99, the DAX down 0.43% at 9,618.85 and the CAC-40 up 0.33% at 4,355.49.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

Copyright (C) 2014 All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: VE , STO

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