- US factory output eases
- US pending home sales slows
- Eurozone must act on reforms, says Coeure
- Greece refuses more austerity, insists president
FTSE 100: 0.07%
CAC 40: -0.42%
FTSE MIB: -0.15%
IBEX 35: -0.72%
Stoxx 600: -0.16%
Disappointing US reports on factory production and home sales dragged most European stocks lower on Monday.
Factory output eased to rise 0.1% in September after a revised 0.5% increase in August as the partial government shut-down halted manufacturing. It missed forecasts for a 0.3% jump.
Total industrial production advanced 0.6% in September after a 0.4% gain a month earlier as higher temperatures drove up electricity use. The consensus estimate was for a gain of 0.4%.
US pending home sales slowed slightly to grow 1.1% in September compared to a rise of 2.8% and market forecast for a 3.5% increase.
The economic data comes ahead of the Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting which starts tomorrow.
Economists predict the Fed will maintain its monthly $85bn stimulus programme and hold interest rates at 0.25%.
A tapering of quantitative easing is not expected now until March 2014.
"Usually, the prospect of Fed tapering is enough to move investors to the sidelines," said Craig Erlam, Market Analyst at Alpari.
"However, on this occasion that has so far not been the case, which clearly highlights the fact that investors do not see this as a likely outcome on Wednesday."
ECB's Coeure says euro-area out of danger zone
European Central Bank policymaker Benoit Coeure has said that the euro-area is out of the danger zone but needs to restructure its financial sector in order to grow.
Speaking at the Asia Europe Economic Forum in Beijing on Monday, Coeure said the Eurozone must foster growth with new business models and avoid protectionism.
"Europe has emerged from the danger zone," he said.
"It's time for us to get our act together, to reform and to grow."
He also noted that two thirds of the €500bn in three-year long-term refinancing operation (LTRO) funding, launched in January of last year, had been paid back.
Meanwhile, the European Central Bank today called for bids on a seven-day refinancing agreement at a fixed rate of 0.5%. The benchmark allotment amounts to €92.5bn, based on its liquidity forecast.
In Greece, President Karolos Papoulias warned that Athens would not yield to pressure from foreign lenders to impose more austerity.
His remarks, made at an annual commemoration of the country's stand against fascism in World War II, come as the Greece butts heads with European Union leaders over reaching targets under its second bailout.
"Greeks gave their blood and whatever they could [in 1940] and today have given what they could to overcome the crisis. This must be appreciated by Europe. Greek people cannot give anything more," he said, according to Reuters.
"They should not think that we may yield to blackmail. Greek people have never surrendered to blackmail," Papoulias said.
A gauge of carmakers fell the most among the 19 industry groups in the Stoxx 600 including Fiat PSA and Peugeot Citroen after JP Morgan downgraded automakers to 'neutral' from 'overweight'.
Technip declined as Europe's second-largest oilfield-services provider won't pay employees a share of 2013 earnings due to insufficient orders, according to a report in weekly newsletter La Lettre de L'Expansion.
BT Group's shares
rose on speculation that it will raise its dividend by more than 10% when it reports its half year results on Thursday.
Aggreko increased after the temporary power group said it expected full year profits to be in line with market expectations despite the absence of a one-off lift from the London Olympics.
ThyssenKrupp slumped following reports that a series of issues made it impossible for the steelmaker to sell its plant in Brazil.
TNT Express climbed after the package-delivery company reported a decline in third quarter sales.
Euro/dollar edges higher
The euro dropped 0.10% to $1.3788.
Brent crude futures rose $1.511 to $108.570 per barrel on the ICE.