Global stocks rose after manufacturing data in both China and Europe showed some improvement, but economic growth concerns remained.
The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.5% on Monday, with the U.K.’s FTSE 100 up 1.3%, leading regional gains as Brexit worries weighed on the British pound.
The broader rises in Europe came as data showed a modest uptick in the region’s manufacturing sector. The manufacturing purchasing managers index for the eurozone—a gauge of activity in the region’s factories—came in at 47.0 for August, which signaled continued contraction, though was modestly better than the 46.5 reading from July.
The data were unlikely to change investor’s opinions about the region’s economy, said
chief investment officer at Tavistock Wealth. Growth in Europe has been buffeted by the threat of a no-deal Brexit and the U.S.-China trade fight.
“Growth in the eurozone has not really recovered since 2008, it’s been pretty much in a zombie state,” Mr. Peel said.
The data gave no cause for celebration, said
chief economist at Commerzbank, with Germany’s economy of particular concern.
“It’s a sign of how German manufacturing is in recession and a clear indication of how Germany and others are being caught up in the trade war between the U.S. and China,” Mr. Dixon said.
London-listed pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca made some of the largest gains in Europe. Its shares rose 3.5% to an all-time high after positive results from trials of its Farxiga drug.
U.S. markets will remain closed for the Labor Day holiday. The closures meant trading volumes in Asia were lighter than usual, said
Asia-Pacific market strategist for AxiTrader, in a note.
Asian stock indexes were mixed, with Japan’s Nikkei and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng both down 0.4%, while Korea’s Kospi edged up 0.1%.
“The general market mood is likely to remain fragile with investors focused on trade war issues after new U.S. and Chinese tariffs kicked in over the weekend,” said analysts at Italian bank UniCredit in a note.
U.S. tariffs of 15% on Chinese goods including clothing, tools and electronics came into force on Sunday, escalating the dispute ahead of further talks expected later in the month. A round of retaliatory Chinese tariffs also took effect, targeting imports of U.S. soybeans, crude oil and pharmaceuticals.
Still, Chinese indexes performed strongly after a private survey of the nation’s manufacturers showed factory activity rebounded to a five-month high last month. The Shanghai Composite rose 1.3% and the Shenzhen A Share index rose 2.3%.
In currencies, the British pound slipped 0.6% against the dollar as fears of a no-deal Brexit weighed on sentiment ahead of a crucial week for the U.K.’s departure from the European Union, said Commerzbank’s Mr. Dixon.
After a summer recess, British lawmakers were due to return to Parliament Tuesday with members opposed to a no-deal Brexit having less than one week to table legislation that would rule it out.
“We are coming into the week where Parliament reconvenes and traders have had a weekend to think about the risks,” Mr. Dixon said.
The slide in the pound was likely driving the strong gains for the FTSE 100, Mr. Dixon said. A large chunk FTSE 100 companies’ profits are generated overseas, and those earnings become more valuable with a weaker pound.
The euro hit a two-year low against the dollar after slipping last week as weak economic data raised expectations that the European Central Bank would move to ease monetary policy. The currency was last down 0.2% against the dollar, bringing it to $1.0968.
In commodities markets, nickel prices were sharply higher after Indonesia said it would put a ban on nickel-ore exports earlier than expected, raising concerns of a squeeze on supply. Three-month futures on the London Metal Exchange were last up 3% at $18,435 a metric ton.
Global benchmark Brent crude oil prices ticked down 0.2% to $59.13 a barrel.
Write to Will Horner at [email protected]
Copyright ©2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8