August 2, 2021

Europe markets: investors watch earnings, data

LONDON — European stocks were modestly higher on Friday, as investors monitored a slew of economic data from across the continent, along with a fresh round of corporate earnings.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 climbed 0.5% in early trade, with autos and basic resources adding 1.3% to lead gains as all sectors and major bourses entered positive territory.

July’s flash PMI (purchasing managers’ index) readings are due Friday morning from France, Germany and the wider euro zone, and should offer a useful insight into the health of the bloc’s economic recovery. The U.K.’s July PMIs and June retail sales figures are also due.

Earnings season continues to gather steam in Europe, with Thales, Signify and Lonza among those reporting second-quarter results on Friday, while Vodafone issued a trading update and Mercedes-Benz announces a strategy update early afternoon.

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