European shares advance, investors eye PMIs
LONDON, July 1 (Reuters) - European shares kicked off the first trading day of the quarter on a positive note on Monday with a broad-based rally in what could prove a choppy session ahead of euro zone and U.S. manufacturing data that could set the tone for the week.
The FTSEurofirst 300 was up 0.8 percent at 1,161.23 points in early trade, having fallen 0.5 percent on Friday and posted its first quarterly loss in a year mostly on concern of diminished monetary stimulus from the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Traders warned that gains could be kept in check by weak Chinese factory activity data which bodes ill for the second-largest economy.
The market also awaited PMIs for the euro zone and the United States on Monday, seen stable at 48.7 for the currency bloc and slightly higher to 50.5 from 49 in the United States.
"Chinese data overnight will not be helpful for European markets today and confirm my fears of an economic slowdown," said Lex van Dam, hedge fund manager at Hampstead Capital, which manages around $500 million in assets.
"Having said that today is the first day of the new quarter where market action is notoriously difficult to predict."
(Reporting by Tricia Wright)