Investing.com - European stocks were mostly higher on Wednesday, after the release of upbeat Chinese data lifted market sentiment, although U.K. political jitters ahead of the June 8 election were expected to weigh.
During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 rose 0.11%, France's CAC 40 slipped 0.13%, while Germany's DAX 30 eased up 0.09%.
Market sentiment improved after data earlier showed that China's official manufacturing purchasing managers' index remained unchanged at 51.2 in May, confounding expectations for a downtick to 51.0.
Financial stocks were mixed, as French lenders BNP Paribas (PA:BNPP) and Societe Generale (PA:SOGN) gained 0.08% and 0.56%, while Commerzbank (DE:CBKG) advanced 0.56% and Deutsche Bank (DE:DBKGn) declined 0.61% in Germany.
Among peripheral lenders, Italy's Unicredit (MI:CRDI) and Intesa Sanpaolo (MI:ISP) lost 0.47% and 0.95% respectively, while BBVA (MC:BBVA) tumbled 1.32% and Banco Santander (MC:SAN) dipped 0.03% in Spain.
Elsewhere, Merck KGaA (DE:MRCG) rallied 1.09% after the German drugmaker received FDA approval of Isentress HD (raltegravir), a new once-daily option, in combination with other antiretroviral agents, for the treatment of hiv-1 infection in appropriate patients.
Vivendi (PA:VIV) shares dropped 0.54% even after the group won conditional European Union approval to take control of Telecom Italia (MI:TLIT), on the condition that it sells its stake in Persidera, the broadcasting company.
In London, FTSE 100 rose 0.20%, as the pound moved lower after a new poll showed that British Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party could lose 20 of the 330 seats it holds in Parliament while the opposition Labour Party could gain nearly 30 seats
The news came after a string of opinion polls showed a narrowing lead for May's Conservatives.
Worldpay Group PLC (LON:WPG) was one of the worst performers on the index, with shares down 2.22% after analysts at Barclays (LON:BARC) reiterated the stock's "overweight" rating.
Mining stocks were also broadly lower on the commodity-heavy index. Shares in Glencore (LON:GLEN) tumbled 1.35% and BHP Billiton (LON:BLT) lost 1.46%, while Anglo American (LON:AAL) and Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) plummeted 1.47% and 1.74% respectively.
Meanwhile, shares in EasyJet PLC (LON:EZJ) jumped 1.43% after the airliner said it attracted a record number of families bookings, which climbed 15% year-on-year in the 12 months to March 30, 2017.
In the financial sector, stocks were mostly higher, as HSBC Holdings (LON:HSBA) gained 0.39% and Lloyds Banking (LON:LLOY) rose 0.42%, while the Royal Bank of Scotland (LON:RBS) advanced 0.46%.
In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a moderately higher open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.07% uptick, S&P 500 futures showed a 0.08% gain, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.14% rise.
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