- China and Japan data exceed estimates
- US Congress prepares to vote on Syria
- US buyers invest in European equities
- Suntory to buy GSK's Lucozade and Ribena
FTSE 100: -0.04%
CAC 40: -0.31%
FTSE MIBL 0.15%
IBEX 35: -0.67%
Stoxx 6000: -0.08%
European equities were mixed following better than expected data from China and Japan and as traders awaited a US vote on military strikes against Syria.
China's exports rose 7.2% in August from a year earlier, the General Administration of Customs revealed, beating the 5.5% estimate.
The figures added to hopes that the world's second largest economy may be recovering from its recent weakness.
Japan revised its growth data for the three months through June to show a 0.9% expansion compared to the previous quarter or at 3.8% on annual basis. It follows aggressive measures by the world's third-biggest economy in recent months to bolster recovery.
Meanwhile, Syria remains high on the agenda this week as US President Barack Obama makes a final push to convince Congress to back his proposal to launch air strikes against the Syrian regime.
He last week failed to gain support from foreign leaders at the Group of 20 summit.
Obama wants to chastise Syria President Bashar Hafez al-Assad's government for allegedly using chemical weapons against civilians on August 21st.
"Traders are fearful of the implications of the military intervention by the US, particularly after Putin warned that a Western strike could be met with retaliation as he continues to support Syria financially and strategically," said Ishaq Siddiqi, Market Strategist at ETX Capital.
The prospect of US Federal Reserve stimulus tapering is also weighing heavy on markets ahead of the central bank's policy meeting on September 17th to 18th.
Jobs data last week prompted economists to readjust their forecasts for the Fed's trimming of quantitative easing at the meeting.
US non-farm payrolls data missed expectations, with employers adding 169,000 workers in August. Yet, the unemployment rate fell to 7.3% last month from 7.4% in July.
US investors pump money into European market
US traders have invested $65bn in the European market in the first half of the year, the most in 36 years, according to research from Goldman Sach's European strategy team.
The investments, which come from pension funds and other US groups, show confidence in Europe's recovery following a batch of positive economic data.
Chief Investment Officer of international equity at Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Eddie Perkins, said: "The economic story makes Europe a good bet. We expect European equities to keep rising as the continent recovers."
The European Central Bank last week improved its outlook for the Eurozone economy this year. The Bank expects the region to shrink 0.4% compared to its previous forecast in June of a 0.6% contraction.
Suntory to buy GSK's Lucozade and Ribena
GlaxoSmithKline's stock fell following reports Suntory Beverage & Food has agreed to buy the company's drink brands Lucozade and Ribena for £1.3bn.
BG Group slumped after cutting its 2014 production forecast due to unrest in Egypt, a delay in first production from the Knarr project in Norway and lower volumes from the US.
Vivendi rallied after Director Vincent Bolloré said he would be willing to become Chief Executive Officer of the French multinational mass media and telecommunication company.