European Shares Seen Slightly Higher On Improved China Data

European stocks are likely to open higher on Thursday as investors react to better-than-expected Chinese PMI data and the latest batch of stimulus measures from Beijing to resurrect an economic revival.

China’s manufacturing activity fell for a fifth consecutive month in August, but the PMI rose to 49.7 – beating forecasts and showing improvement from the July reading.

At the same time, the non-manufacturing PMI, which includes activity in the construction and services sectors, dropped to 51.0 from 51.5 in July.

China’s central bank said today that it would unblock financing channels of stocks, bonds and loans for private enterprises and support their listing and refinancing in an effort to boost growth.

In another significant move, two of China’s biggest cities – Guangzhou and Shenzhen in southern China – have eased home purchase policies to help revive the country’s property sector.

Asian markets traded mixed in cautious trade ahead of preliminary euro zone CPI numbers and U.S. personal consumption data, due out later in the day. Final GDP numbers for the second quarter from France are also awaited.

The dollar weakened alongside sluggish Treasury yields and gold traded higher while oil prices were unchanged after closing at a two-week high on Wednesday.

U.S. stocks rose for a fourth consecutive session overnight and the dollar slipped as weak growth and labor market data raised hopes the Fed will not raise rates again this year.

While private payrolls posted the smallest gain in five months last month, a revised reading showed the U.S. economy expanded by 2.1 percent in the second quarter of 2023, down from the initial estimate of 2.4 percent.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose half a percent, the S&P 500 gained 0.4 percent and the Dow added 0.1 percent.

European stocks fell on Wednesday as signs of sticky inflation in Germany and Spain added to bets that the European Central Bank will raise interest rates next month.

The pan European STOXX 600 slid 0.2 percent. The German DAX eased 0.2 percent and France’s CAC 40 dipped 0.1 percent while the U.K.’s FTSE 100 inched up 0.1 percent.

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