European equity markets opened the week fairly unchanged after consolidating within the recent range, as trading activity remained muted due to the US Labor Day holiday in the US. The DAX, IBEX and London benchmark index edged slightly higher and managed to finish the trading session in positive territory, while the CAC index finished flat at 4379.73.
On the macroeconomic front, economic indicators in Europe and Asia remained fairly mixed. The geopolitical risks in Russia and Middle East continue to dominate the markets, causing nervous trading conditions.
Eurozone’s manufacturing PMI declined to 50.7 in August compared to 50.8 in July, hitting a 13-month low. However, German exports surged by 0.9% in Q2 2014, beating expectations of 0.2%, while imports also climbed by 1.6% during the same period against estimates of a 0.5% rise.
In the UK, Markit Manufacturing PMI declined sharply to 52.5 in August compared to 55.4 in July sharply missing analysts’ expectations of 55.1.
In China, HSBC manufacturing PMI fell sharply to 50.2 in August versus estimates of 50.3, raising fresh concerns about a slowdown in the country’s manufacturing activity.
The US dollar index gave back earlier gains and consolidated around 82.7, giving mixed signals across equities and commodities. Brent front month futures reversed from earlier gains and retreated towards $102 per barrel. Base metals prices traded lower in LME today with Copper near 6940.