- Eurozone manufacturing expands
- Chinese manufacturing contracts
- ECB nominates Vice Chair of SSM
- Spain's unemployment rate rises
FTSE 100: -0.19%
CAC 40: 0.04%
FTSE MIB: 0.56%
IBEX 35: 0.26%
Stoxx 600: -0.12%
European stocks were little changed as manufacturing activity rose in the Eurozone but fell in China.
Markit's purchasing managers' index (PMI) for Eurozone manufacturing in January climbed to 53.9 from 52.7 in December, surpassing the consensus forecast of 53 and the 50 level that indicates expansion.
Markit Chief Economist Chris Williamson said recovery remains "fragile" with high unemployment and falling inflation.
"Companies cut employment again, and selling prices continued to fall amid still-weak demand. Deflationary forces are clearly a concern in many countries," Williamson explained.
In China, the preliminary reading of Markit/HSBC's PMI for January manufacturing fell for the first time since July to 49.5 from 50.5 a month earlier. Economists had estimated a reading of 50.5.
The report came amid fears of deteriorating growth in the world's second largest economy as the government tries to curb high debt.
Later in the US, attention will turn to the release of weekly jobless claims and housing data.
ECB nominates Lautenschlaeger as Vice Chair of SSM
The European Central Bank (ECB) has nominated its recently appointed member Sabine Lautenschlaeger to become the Vice Chair of its single supervisory mechanism (SSM) that will begin overseeing Eurozone banks this year.
The appointment will need to be confirmed by the European Parliament before moving to the European Council for final approval.
Elsewhere in Europe, Spain's unemployment rate rose to 26.03% in the fourth quarter of 2013 from 25.98% in the prior quarter even though the number of people out of work fell by 8,400 to 5,896,300, according to data from the country's jobs statistics office, INE.
It was the first time that the number of unemployed declined on a year-on-year basis since 2007. However, a greater reduction in the participation rate led to a rise in the jobless rate, showing that job creation remains a problem in the country.
Pearson, LEG Immobilien
Pearson declined after the education company said it probably spent more on reorganisation last year than it had forecast.
LEG Immobilien slumped the German landlord's largest shareholder Saturea BV sold a 25.7% of about €646m.
Logitech advanced after the maker of computer accessories swung to a third quarter profit that beat analysts' estimates and raised its full-year guidance.
Celesio advanced following a report that one of the company's largest shareholders Franz Haniel & Cie. is set to sell a stake of about 75% in the German drug distributor to McKesson Corp.