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Why European Indexes Were Mixed Today as News Swayed Markets

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ECB policy failed to encourage European indexes

European indexes (DBEU) were trading on a mixed note in today’s early trading hours as the European Central Bank’s (or ECB) monetary policy inaction and the Eurozone purchasing managers’ index moved markets. ECB Chief Mario Draghi said that the ECB would be open to further easing if necessary but wanted to assess the impact of earlier measures. The statement was viewed as less dovish than expected.

The downside movement in the European indexes (HEDJ) was led by non-Eurozone markets. The United Kingdom’s (FKU) FTSE 100 and Sweden’s (EWD) OMX Stockholm 30 fell 1.2% and 0.95%, respectively.

Eurozone markets also traded lower. The German DAX and French CAC 40 fell 0.53% and 0.38%, respectively. The SPDR Euro Stoxx 50 ETF (FEZ) fell 0.50%.

Among other major European indexes (IEV), the crude-related economy of Russia (RSX) was also trading on a positive note. Crude futures (USO) rose over 2.5% for the day. The Russian MICEX rose 0.54%. It led the positive movement among European indexes.

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Eurozone PMI mixed

The Markit Eurozone composite PMI for April came in at 53 against forecasts of 53.1. The Services PMI was above forecast at 53.2 while the manufacturing PMI came in below forecasts at 51.5. Among the member countries, France managed to come out of the stagnating trend from March, but it still proved to be a major drag on the Eurozone PMI. The French flash services PMI came in at 50.8 against the previous month’s 49.9. In contrast, the German services PMI came in below forecasts at 54.6 while the manufacturing PMI was 51.9 against the forecast 51.0.

Italian industrial and retails sales are solid

Istat published the Italian industrial and retail figures for February today. Month-over-month industrial sales and orders rose 0.1% and 0.7%, respectively.

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