(Sharecast News) – European shares opened lower on Tuesday as weak services survey data from China dampened sentiment.
The pan-regional Stoxx 600 index was down 0.64% in early deals with all major markets lower. Wall Street bourses were closed overnight for the Labor Day public holiday.
China’s services activity expanded at the slowest pace in eight months in August on weak demand, while state stimulus measures had failed to provide any lift to consumer consumption.
The Caixin/S&P services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) dropped to just 51.8 last month, down from 54.1 in July.
While any figure over 50 still indicates an expansion in activity, this was the lowest reading since December as a result of below-average new order intake. The consensus forecast was for a reading of 53.
In Australia, rates were held steady for the third consecutive month as signs that inflationary pressures were easing continued.
The cash rate was maintained at a decade-high 4.1%. Philip Lowe, who was delivering his final rate decision after seven years as the Reserve Bank of Australia’s governor, said that while inflation was still above the bank’s 2 – 3% target band, it was now falling.
In equity news, shares in Ashtead fell, despite the equipment rental group posting a record performance in its fiscal first quarter, with double-digit growth across the board, as it delivered a bullish outlook for the rest of the year.
Swiss investment manager Partners Group surged to the top of the Stoxx after posting higher first-half revenue and profit.
Reporting by Frank Prenesti for Sharecast.com