- Eurozone service activity and investor confidence grows
- US services activity slows
- Yellen to be confirmed as Fed Chair
- German inflation rises in line with forecasts
FTSE 100: 0.00%
CAC 40: -0.47%
FTSE MIB: 0.63%
IBEX 35: 0.92%
Stoxx 600: -0.20%
European stocks were little changed as Eurozone service activity grew in line with expectations while US services weakened.
The purchasing managers' index (PMI) for Eurozone services came in at 51 in December, in line with expectations and unchanged from the previous month. A reading above 50 signals expansion.
Also in the Eurozone, investor confidence improved with the Sentix index rising to 11 from 8 in December, beating the 9.5 forecast.
In the US, the Institute for Supply Management's non-manufacturing PMI for December fell from 53.9 to 53, showing that activity growth eased last month. Analysts had expected the PMI to rise to 54.7.
Separately, data showed that factory orders in the US increased 1.8% in November compared with a revised 0.5% fall in October and ahead of the 1.7% gain expected.
US policymakers are turning to economic data to gauge whether the world's biggest economy is ready for a further reduction to monetary stimulus after the Federal Reserve last month announced it would cut monthly bond purchases to $75bn from $85bn.
The US Senate was expected to confirm Janet Yellen as the next Chairman of the Fed later today, succeeding Ben Bernanke who steps down at the end of the month.
In the UK, the services PMI dropped to 58.8 in December from 60 in November. Economists had expected a reading of 60.3.
In China, HSBC services PMI for December declined to 50.9 from 52.5 in November, which could fuel fears of a slowdown in the world's second largest economy.
German inflation, PMIs
German inflation rose by 1.4% in December from 1.3% in the prior month, in line with forecasts.
PMI services in Europe's largest economy fell to 53.5 in December from 54 in November, missing expectations for an unchanged reading.
The country's chancellor, Angela Merkel, was forced to cancel her meetings for the next three weeks after breaking her pelvis in a skiing accident in Switzerland.
jumped following reports Liberty Global Plc is preparing an acquisition of the Dutch broadband provider.
RSA Insurance Group advanced after a report said the insurer's Irish unit won't require further capital injections.
Remy Cointreau retreated as Natixis lowered its rating on the producer of Remy Martin cognac to 'neutral' from 'buy' after Frederic Pflanz resigned as Chief Executive Officer last week.
Sanofi slumped after JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered its recommendation on the drug-maker to 'neutral' from 'overweight', citing a possible weak earnings outlook in 2014.
Precious metal miners Randgold Resources and Fresnillo were trading firmly lower this morning as gold and silver prices weakened.
Commerzbank rallied after Euro
am Sonntag reported that the lender plans to expand its wealth-management unit.
Centamin rose after its full-year production exceeded its forecast.
The euro was up 0.35% to $1.3637.
Brent crude futures gained $0.112 t0 107.010 per barrel, according to the ICE, amidst continuing media coverage of recently increased tensions in the Middle East, and Iraq in particular.