By Paul J. Davies
European stocks looked set to end the week on a brighter note after German and French industrial survey data proved to be better than expected for November.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index advanced 0.4% while futures linked to the S&P 500 index climbed 0.2%. That followed a mixed performance in Asian markets, where Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index ended the day up 0.5% and the Shanghai Composite gauge finished 0.6% lower.
For the eurozone as a whole, monthly manufacturing activity showed an improvement from October and beat the market's expectations, buoying investor sentiment. Germany's manufacturing and services purchasing managers indexes for November were stronger than expected, although both continue to signal contractions with readings below 50. At the same time, Germany's economy returned to growth in the third quarter, meeting expectations for a 0.1% expansion.
The data bolstered recent signs of stabilization in the European economy that have led some economists, such as those at Morgan Stanley, to strike off expectations for a further interest rate cut from the European Central Bank in coming months.
Meanwhile, Christine Lagarde on Friday called for help from fiscal policy in her first public speech since taking over as the new ECB president. She said monetary policy could achieve its goal faster with fewer side effects if other policies were supporting it.
Government bond yields fell in Europe with German 10-year bund rates sliding to minus 0.356% from minus 0.336%. French, Italian and other major European government bond yields also slipped. The euro was mostly flat against the dollar, trading at $1.105.
Elsewhere in markets, gold advanced 0.5% higher to $1,471.10 a troy ounce.
Later in the day, the University of Michigan's final consumer sentiment index for November will provide an indication on whether Americans' outlook has dimmed from earlier in the month.
Write to Paul J. Davies at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 22, 2019 05:10 ET (10:10 GMT)
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