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24.03.2015 12:00

European stock markets mid-session: Indices cannot hold onto early gains despite solid PMI data

Despite solid PMI data showing that the Eurozone is on track to recover European indices shed early gains in today's trading. The data suggests that low energy prices combined with a weaker euro and the quantitative easing started by the ECB this month already have a positive impact on the economic development. Greece's future in the Eurozone and reform plans as condition of a further bailout remain in the focus.

At 12:30 GMT U.S. data on inflation will be in investors focus as inflation was named as one of the factors considered by the FED on when to hike benchmark interest rates.

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.

Eurozone data came in better-than-expected with the Manufacturing PMI at 51.9, above estimates for an increase to 51.6 and a previous reading of 51.0. The Manufacturing activity rose to the highest level in ten months. The German Services PMI rose from 53.7 to 54.3 beating estimates of an increase to 53.9 - a new 46-month high.

Eurozone's recovery is gaining momentum.

The Producer Price index Input rose less-than-expected in February, according to the National statistics bureau. The Index rose +0.2%, a positive reading for the first time in nine months, but far below estimates of an increase of +1.6%. Last month's reading was revised up -3.6% from previous -3.7%.

The Producer Price index Output rose +0.2%, beating estimates of a decline by -0.1% after falling -0.4% in January.

Retail Prices rose +0.5% in February compared to a decline of -0.8% in January.

The HICP, that monitors retail price changes for goods and services included into the consumer goods basket, rose +0.3% month on month but declined year on year to 0.0% - according to constructed historical data the lowest since 1960, said the Office of National Statistics. Analysts expected a decline to +0.1%. Food, non-alcoholic drinks, furniture, computers and household equipment had the largest effect on the reading.

The HICP ex EFAT, excluding the volatile costs of food and energy, measuring core inflation rose +1.2% year on year compared to a previous reading of +1.4% and below the estimated +1.3%.

The FTSE 100 index is currently trading higher, quoted at 7,043.89 +0.09%. Germany's DAX 30 lost -0.05% trading at 11,890.46 points. France's CAC 40 is currently trading at 5,062.74 points, +0.16%.

Market Focus

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  • Earnings Season in U.S.: Major Reports of the Week
  • German private sector output growth slowed for the second month running in July
  • ECB's Mersch says as conditions normalise, it is unlikely that uncoventional policies will remain necessary
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