European Shares Tick Higher As Services PMI Improves

(RTTNews) - European stocks were flat to slightly higher on Thursday after revised data showed economic activity in the eurozone's private sector expanded for the first time in ten months in March. The eurozone services PMI improved to 51.5 from 50.2 in February.

Meanwhile, the producer price index declined 1.0 percent month-on-month in the Eurozone and 0.9 percent in the European Union in February, the European Commission's statistical office Eurostat said.

Minutes from the European Central Bank's latest policy meeting are awaited later in the day.

The pan European STOXX 600 was marginally higher at 510.51 after rising 0.3 percent in the previous session.

The German DAX was little changed with a positive bias, France's CAC 40 rose 0.2 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 added 0.4 percent.

The British pound bounced back from a two-month low against the dollar as upbeat U.K. manufacturing data and promising figures from the latest house price index released the day before suggested the British economy is on track to exit recession.

The manufacturing PMI, after seasonal adjustment, improved to a 20-month peak of 50.3 from February's 47.5. It also surpassed the preliminary estimate of 49.9.

In corporate news, Volvo Car AB jumped 5 percent after the luxury auto major reported significant growth in vehicle sales in the month of March as well as in the first quarter.

Basilea soared 7 percent after receiving the U.S. regulatory approval for Zevtera, an antibiotic for the treatment of multiple infections.

Shares of packaging group Mondi fell 2.6 percent in London after DS Smith said talks with the peer are continuing over a possible merger.

Media group Future jumped 15 percent. The platform for specialist media backed guidance after reporting revenue growth in its second quarter.

Sports betting and gaming group Entain rallied 2.5 percent. The company said Chair Barry Gibson would step down by September-end after more than four years in the role.

German medical software firm Compugroup climbed 6.6 percent after Morgan Stanley upgraded its rating on the stock to overweight.

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


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