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24.03.2015 16:00

European stock markets First hour: Indices book early gains – focus on Eurozone PMI

European stocks open higher on Tuesday amid hopes on a progress in the negotiations between the E.U and Greece and better-than expected PMI data from Germany.

Early in the day data on the preliminary Chinese HSBC Manufacturing PMI for March came in at 49.2, an 11-month low, as new orders declined. The February reading was 50.7 and analysts expected a decline to 50.5. The reading below 50 added to indications that the world's second largest economy is slowing and could lead to further stimulus measures by the PBoC.

The French Manufacturing PMI for March rose from a previous reading of 47.6 to 48.2 but remained below estimates of an increase to 48.9 - and below the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction. The Services PMI declined from 53.4 to 52.8 not meeting expectations of a decrease to 53.1. The data not only shows a divergence between the service and manufacturing sector but also with Germany, Eurozone's powerhouse and largest economy.

German data came in better-than-expected with the Manufacturing PMI at 52.4, above estimates for an increase to 51.5 and a previous reading of 51.1. The Manufacturing activity rose to the highest level in eight months. The German Services PMI rose from 54.7 to 55.3 beating estimates of an increase to 55.0. German PMI data is a solid sign of the economic recovery.

The FTSE 100 index is currently trading +0.20% quoted at 7,049.75 points ahead of a set of data including U.K.'s PPI, Retail Prices and the HICP. Germany's DAX 30 is trading higher at 11,928.38 points +0.30%. France's CAC 40 is currently trading at 5,064.75 points, +0.2%.

Market focus

  • Bundesbank: German growth to remain subdued at least in first half of 2019
  • EU will react swiftly if U.S. hits it with car tariffs - European Commission
  • Unemployment in the UK remained at 4%, as expected
  • Bank of Japan Governor Kuroda: BOJ policy does not have currency manipulation as its target
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