LONDON (AP) — European stock markets drifted lower Monday after a mixed set of manufacturing surveys from around the world, notably from China.
KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 was down 0.3 percent at 6,703, while Germany's DAX was flat at 10,333. The CAC-40 in France was 0.6 percent lower at 4,415. Wall Street was poised for a fairly flat opening with Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures up 0.1 percent.
CHINA MANUFACTURING: Two surveys showed manufacturing activity in the world's second-largest economy in July was relatively weak. Business magazine, Caixin, said its gauge of manufacturing activity — the so-called purchasing managers' index — rose to 50.6 from June's 48.6 on a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 show expansion. Separately, the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing, an industry group, said its PMI edged down to 49.9 in July from 50 in June.
ANALYST TAKE: "On the one hand, it's positive that the small to medium private firms that are covered more by the Caixin reading are finally seeing the benefit of all the stimulus efforts," said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA. "The flip side of this though is that the official number which covers large state owned businesses is clearly struggling with the transition."
EUROPE MIXED TOO: It was a mixed picture in Europe too as financial information company IHS Markit unveiled its own surveys of the manufacturing sector. An upward revision to Germany's PMI helped drive a similar increase for the wider 19-country eurozone as a whole. The eurozone's PMI came in at 52.0 for July, up from the initial estimate of 51.9 but down on June's 52.8.
BRITAIN'S DOWN: The picture in Britain was far more downbeat with the country's manufacturing PMI down at 48.2 in July from 52.1 the previous month. That's the latest worrying survey to come out of Britain in the wake of the country's decision in June to leave the European Union. Analysts say the Bank of England is now even more likely to cut its main interest rate from the current 0.5 percent and announce some sort of stimulus package at its next policy meeting on Thursday.
US TURN: Later, the Institute for Supply Management will publish its equivalent report into the state of the manufacturing sector in the U.S. The survey will garner a lot of interest in light of last Friday's report showing that the U.S. economy expanded at an annualized rate of 1.2 percent in the second quarter of the year, half the rate anticipated in the markets. It's a busy week on the U.S. data front, culminating Friday with the nonfarm payrolls report for July.
ASIA'S DAY: Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index gained 0.4 percent to 16,635.77 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index added 1.1 percent to 22,129.14. South Korea's Kospi gained 0.7 percent to 2,029.61 and Australia's A&P ASX/200 rose 0.5 percent, to 5,587.40. India's Sensex lost 0.2 percent to 27,992.22 and the Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.9 percent to 2,953.39.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 39 cents to $41.21 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange while Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, was 47 cents lower at $43.06.
CURRENCIES: The euro was 0.1 percent lower at $1.1167 while the dollar rose 0.3 percent to 102.36 yen.