Investing.com - European stocks remained mixed on Thursday, after the release of mostly disappointing manufacturing and service sector data from the euro zone.
During European afternoon trade, the DJ Euro Stoxx 50 slipped 0.18%, France’s CAC 40 fell 0.23%, while Germany’s DAX edged up 0.09%.
Markit said the euro zone flash manufacturing purchasing managers’ index slid to 52.5 in May, from 53.4 in April, expanding at the slowest rate in six months and compared to expectations of 53.2.
The bloc’s services PMI rose to a 35-month high of 53.5 up from 53.1 in April, expanding at the fastest rate in almost three years. Analysts had expected the index to tick down to 53.0.
Germany’s manufacturing PMI slowed to a six month low of 52.9 this month from 54.1 in April, while the services PMI improved to 56.4 from 54.7 last month, growing at the fastest rate in nearly three years.
The French private sector fell back into contraction territory this month, with its manufacturing PMI down to a three month low of 49.3 from 51.2 in April and its services PMI falling to 49.2 from 50.4 last month.
Financial stocks were mixed, as BNP Paribas (PARIS:BNPP) added 0.10% and Societe Generale (PARIS:SOGN) declined 0.65% in France, while Germany''s Deutsche Bank (XETRA:DBKGn) edged up 0.15%.
Among peripheral lenders, Italy''s Unicredit (MILAN:CRDI) and Intesa Sanpaolo (MILAN:ISP) tumbled 1.55% and 1.78% respectively, while BBVA (MADRID:BBVA) inched up 0.02% and Banco Santander (MADRID:SAN) retreated 0.91% in Spain.
Elsewhere, Vivendi (PARIS:VIV) advanced 0.40% after saying it plans to sell about half of its remaining stake in video-game maker Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) in an offering valued at $866 million. The sale is expected to be completed by May 28.
Peugeot (PARIS:PEUP) added to gains, surging 2.42%, after the French carmaker completed the sale of 289 million new shares as part of a €3 billion capital increase.
In London, FTSE 100 edged up 0.07%, still led by Sabmiller (LONDON:SAB), up 3.43%, after the world’s second-biggest brewer predicted little change in business conditions this year and reported full-year earnings in line with analysts’ estimates.
Mining stocks also remained on the upside, as Glencore Xstrata (LONDON:GLEN) climbed 0.71% and Rio Tinto (LONDON:RIO) rallied 1.12%, while Fresnillo (LONDON:FRES) and Vedanta Resources (LONDON:VED) surged 2.38% and 3.45% respectively.
On the downside, Unilever (LONDON:ULVR) declined 0.72% after the maker of Magnum ice cream agreed to sell the Ragu and Bertolli North America pasta sauces business to Japanese food manufacturer Mizkan Group for about $2.15 billion in cash.
Financial stocks remained mixed. Shares in the Royal Bank of Scotland (LONDON:RBS) and HSBC Holdings (LONDON:HSBA) dropped 0.42% and 0.57%, while Lloyds Banking (LONDON:LLOY) added 0.07% and Barclays (LONDON:BARC) gained 0.89%.
Also in the U.K., data confirmed that the U.K. economy grew 0.8% in the first three months of the year, disappointing some market expectations for an upward revision.
In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a moderately higher open. The Dow 30 futures pointed to a 0.13% rise, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.09% gain, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.10% increase.
Later in the day, the U.S. was to produce its weekly report on initial jobless claims and private sector data on existing home sales.
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