European markets head for broadly positive open after China data boost

European stocks are expected to open in flat to positive territory Wednesday, getting a boost from better-than-expected Chinese factory activity in June.

London’s FTSE is seen opening 5 points lower at 6,179 while Germany’s DAX is expected to open 22 points higher at 12,354, France’s CAC 40 is seen 9 points higher at 4,951 and Italy’s FTSE MIB is seen 72 points higher at 19,327, according to IG.

Market participants in Europe will be digesting the latest indication of an economic recovery in China Wednesday after a private survey showed Chinese manufacturing activity in June growing more than expected. 

The Caixin/Markit manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) came in at 51.2 in June, above expectations of a reading of 50.5 by analysts in a Reuters poll. Stocks in Asia Pacific mostly edged higher in Wednesday afternoon trade. 

PMI readings above the 50-level signify expansion on a monthly basis, while those below that figure represent contraction. The official manufacturing PMI released Tuesday also showed factory activity in China expanding in June.

Coronavirus developments are also at the forefront of investors’ minds. On Tuesday, White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said U.S. health officials are keeping an eye on a new strain of flu carried by pigs in China that has the potential to become a pandemic, according to scientists.

In the U.S., New York is cracking down further on travelers heading to the state from regions where hotspots are seeing steep increases in new Covid-19 cases. There have now been more than 10.45 million global cases of coronavirus, and the virus has caused at least 510,632 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

– CNBC’s Huileng Tan and Eustance Huang contributed reporting to this story.

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