Investing.com - European stocks remained mostly lower on
Thursday, after the release of tepid data out of the euro zone,
while the minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting
signalled the possibility for near-term tapering of its stimulus
During European afternoon trade, the EURO STOXX 50 fell 0.29%,
France's CAC 40 retreated 0.44%, while Germany's DAX 30 slid 0.33%.
Data showed that manufacturing activity in the euro zone expanded
in line with forecasts in November, but service sector activity
declined unexpectedly, indicating that the recovery in the bloc is
The euro zone's manufacturing purchasing managers' index ticked up
to 51.5 in November from a final reading of 51.3 in October, while
the services PMI declined to 50.9 this month from 51.6 in October,
disappointing expectations for an increase to 51.9.
However, Germany's manufacturing PMI rose to a 29 month high this
month, while the services sector PMI rose to a nine-month high.
According to the minutes of the Fed's October meeting, policymakers
said they could start scaling back the USD85 billion-a-month asset
purchase program in the "coming months" if the economy continues to
improve as expected.
Financial stocks were mixed, as BNP Paribas rose 0.35% and Societe
Generale declined 0.47% in France, while Germany's Deutsche Bank
Among peripheral lenders, BBVA dipped 0.02% and Banco Santander
gained 0.47% in Spain, while Italy's Unicredit and Intesa Sanpaolo
rallied 1.21% and 1.74% respectively.
Atos plunged 3.39% after the French computer services company said
it sold 8.9 million shares.
Zurich Insurance Group erased earlier losses and rose 0.32% after
selling its entire stake in New China Life Insurance Co. for USD943
In London, FTSE 100 eased 0.01%, even as data showed that U.K.
industrial order expectations improved significantly
more-than-expected in November.
Financial stocks turned broadly higher, as HSBC Holdings eased up
0.03% and the Royal Bank of Scotland advanced 0.96%, while Lloyds
Banking and Barclays jumped 1.03% and 1.15%.
Meanwhile, mining stocks remained sharply lower. Shares in
Antofogasta plummeted 2.04% and Randgold Resources lost 2.12%,
while rivals Fresnillo and Vedanta Resources plunged 2.60% and
Elsewhere, SABMiller, up 1.08%, posted first-half earnings that
topped analysts' estimates, while Johnson Matthey, still the top
performer, reported a profit increase, sending shares up 2.89%.
In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a higher open. The Dow Jones
Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.24% rise, S&P 500
futures signaled a 0.21% gain, while the Nasdaq 100 futures
indicated a 0.29% increase.
Also Thursday, data showed that China's HSBC manufacturing index
ticked down to 50.4 in November, from a final reading of 50.9 in
October, missing forecasts for a reading of 50.8.
Later in the day, the U.S. was release data on producer price
inflation, as well as the weekly report on initial jobless claims
and data manufacturing activity from the Philly Fed.
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