By Geoffrey Smith
Investing.com -- Europe’s stock markets started December already in festive spirit, after purchasing manager indexes around the world showed further signs that the world economy may be stabilizing after a marked slowdown caused largely by the U.S.-China trade war.
By 5:20 AM ET (1020 GMT), the benchmark Euro Stoxx 600 was at 408.86, up 0.4% from Friday, albeit well off an intraday high of 410.04, as the market reconsidered its initial exuberance.
However, analysts were quick to point to other recent news out of China suggesting that there will be no quick and sharp recovery, given the ongoing trade war and China’s increasing corporate and household debt problem, which limits its scope to reflate the domestic economy.
In an article published over the weekend in a Communist Party magazine, central bank governor Yi Gang warned that “The world’s economic downturn will likely stay for a long time.”
“We should stay focused and targeted, while not competitively lowering interest rates to zero or engaging in quantitative easing,” Bloomberg quoted him as writing.
Among national markets, Germany’s Dax was among the biggest winners, gaining 0.7%. In addition to the support from China’s Caixin PMI, which lifted trade-sensitive stocks, the DAX also profited from domestic political developments at the weekend, where the Social Democrats’ election of a new and more clearly left-wing leadership raised the likelihood of Berlin loosening its purse strings. The yield on the German 10-year Bund rose to a three-week high in response.
If the German federal coalition should fall apart, it’s more than possible that any new administration would involve the Green Party. That awareness helped push down energy company RWE by over 2%, and kept rival E.On also at the bottom of the DAX. By contrast, wind turbine maker Nordex rose over 4.0% Elsewhere across Europe, conventional energy stocks were likewise under pressure at the start of a week that includes a high-level international conference in Spain on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Spain’s Endesa lost 1.2%, while Drax Group (LON:DRX) lost 3.1% and Centrica (LON:CNA) 1.9%. Grid operators Red Electrica and National Grid (LON:NG) both fell around 1%.