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European Stocks Close Notably Lower On Weak Economic Data

European markets ended lower on Thursday as investors refrained from making significant purchases, and instead, trimmed down positions due to weak euro zone economic data.

A report from the World Health Organization saying new coronavirus cases rose across the globe this week weighed as well on sentiment.

The pan European Stoxx 600 declined 0.75%. Among the major indices in Europe, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 ended down 0.86%, while Germany's DAX and France's CAC 40 lost 1.41% and 1.15%, respectively. Switzerland's SMI bucked the trend and ended 0.27% up.

Among other markets in Europe, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Poland and Russia ended notably lower. Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Sweden posted modest losses.

Denmark, Finland, Norway and Turkey closed higher, while Spain ended flat.

In the U.K. market, Whitbread shares plunged more than 13% after the company announced it would raise $1.2 billion via a rights issue.

Standard Chartered lost about 5.4% and Lloyd Banking Group shed nearly 5%. Meggitt, Fresnillo, Antofagasta, HSBC Holdings, Royal Bank and Tesco lost 3 to 4%.

On the other hand, Intertek Group gained more than 6%, Kingfisher, EasyJet and BT Group move dup 4 to 4.6%, and IAG, Rolls-Royce Holdings, Land Securities and Ocado Group gained 3 to 3.7%.

In Germany, Fresenius lost more than 4% and SAP ended 3.1% down. Wirecard, Infineon Technologies, Bayer, Deutsche Bank, Merck, Daimler and Linde lost 1.7 to 3%. Lufthansa and Thyssenkrupp ended stronger by 2.7% and 1.4%, respectively.

In the French market, Unibail Rodamco declined more than 8%. Technip, Publicis Groupe, Capgemini, STMicroElectronics, ArcelorMittal, Credit Agricole and Legrand lost 2.5 to 5.3%.

Saint Gobain gained nearly 5% and Carrefor climbed up 2.4%.

In economic news, flash survey results from IHS Markit, the composite output index rose to 30.5 in May from a record low 13.6 in April. The prior low of 36.2 was seen during the peak of the global financial crisis in February 2009.

The services Purchasing Managers' Index advanced to a three-month high of 28.7 from 12.0 in the previous month, while the factory PMI climbed to 39.5 from 33.4 in April.

The French private sector contracted in May but the pace of reduction eased considerably from April's unprecedented fall as some firms began to reopen after restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus eased, flash survey data from IHS Markit showed.

The composite output index rose sharply to 30.5 in May from 11.1 in April. The flash services Purchasing Managers' Index advanced to 29.4 in May from 10.2 in April, while the manufacturing PMI came in at 40.3 in May versus 31.5 a month ago and the forecast of 36.1.

Germany's private sector continued to shrink in May. The headline flash composite output index rose to 31.4 in May from April's record low of 17.4. The services Purchasing Managers' Index climbed to 31.4 from 16.2 in the previous month. The expected level was 26.6. Meanwhile, the manufacturing PMI came in at 36.8 versus 34.5 in the previous month and below forecast of 39.2.

UK private sector output remained on a steep downward trajectory in May due to business shutdowns. The flash IHS Markit/Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply composite output index rose to 28.9 in May from 13.8 in April.

The services Purchasing Managers' Index came in at 27.8 versus 13.4 in April, while the manufacturing PMI advanced to 40.6 in May from 32.6 in the previous month.

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