European stocks struggle as PMIs fail to provide a lift


European stocks pulled lower Monday, as investors juggled a new pile of corporate earnings, including from Swiss lender UBS Group AG, alongside fresh monthly readings on European services and manufacturing activity that showed signs of weakness.

The moves come ahead of this week’s European Central Bank meeting.

How indexes are moving

The Stoxx Europe 600 index












SXXP, -0.12%










 fell 0.2% to 381.02, as the consumer goods and utility groups lost the most. But the health care and telecom groups moved higher. The index on Friday ended fractionally lower, but ended last week up by 0.7%, a fourth consecutive weekly advance.

In Frankfurt, the DAX 30 index












DAX, -0.20%










 fell 0.3% to 12,501.97 and in Paris, the CAC 40 index












PX1, -0.15%










 fell 0.3% to 5,395.72. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 index












UKX, -0.07%










 was up 0.1% to 7,372.99.

The euro












EURUSD, -0.4720%










 bought $1.2271, down from $1.2289 late Thursday in New York.

What’s driving the market

European stocks started the new trading week in the red, unable to get a lift from flash manufacturing and services PMI reports from the eurozone, Germany and France largely beat expectations. The reports come after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi reportedly said on Friday that the region’s growth cycle may have peaked.

Investors will watch what Draghi and the ECB will say about continuing the bank’s quantitative easing measures when they release the next policy decision on Thursday.

Also in focus Monday is a continued rise in U.S. Treasury yields, as strengthening inflation prospects added to expectations of a more hawkish approach from the Federal Reserve. The yield on the 10-year benchmark bond was approaching 3%.

What data are in focus?

IHS Markit said it’s flash April reading for eurozone services activity was at 55.0, above a FactSet estimate of 54.8. The flash manufacturing PMI of 56.0 met expectations.

Stocks in focus

UBS












UBSG, -3.14%











UBS, +0.00%










 fell 4% even as the Swiss bank’s first-quarter earnings net profit rose 19%, supported by the performance of its wealth-management unit.

Royal Philips NV shares












PHIA, +4.77%











PHIA, +5.88%










 rose 3.8% as the Dutch technology company backed its target for the 2017-2020 years of 4%-6% comparable sales growth and an average annual 100 basis points improvement in adjusted Ebita margin.



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