Europe midday: Shares flat as EZ retail sales disappoint

by | Aug 4, 2023

(Sharecast News) – European shares were flat at midday as investors digested suggestions the Chinese government could provide extra economic stimulus, a raft of eurozone data and also looked ahead to US non-farm payrolls data.
The pan-regional Stoxx 600 hadn’t moved the needle at 1200 GMT, while continental bourses were mixed.

China’s top economic committees said the government would implement more measures to boost consumer spending and improve local liquidity.

Eyes will be on the US jobs data later in the day, with analysts forecasting that 200000 jobs will have been added in July, as compared to 209000 in June.

They are also guiding for the unemployment rate holding at 3.6%, and annual hourly earnings rate expected to rise 0.3% from the previous month.

Brent crude hit $85 a barrel after Saudi Arabia and Russia both said they were prepared to extend voluntary supply cuts into next month.

The news came just before an OPEC+ meeting, where output policy of limiting supply is expected to be formally held.

In economic news, German factory orders rose 7% in June compared with the previous month, beating expectations of a 2% fall.

Eurozone retail sales dropped 0.3% month on month in June, worse than expectations of a 0.3% rise.

On the equities front, shipping giant AP Moeller-Maersk fell after it warned of a steeper decline in global demand for shipping containers by sea this year prompted by muted economic growth and customers reducing inventories.

Credit Agricole gained after positive quarterly results.

Advertising giant WPP fell after cutting growth forecasts as first-half profits slumped.

Reporting by Frank Prenesti for Sharecast.com

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