Europe Markets

European stocks close slightly higher but snap seven-month winning streak

Key Points
  • The pan-European Stoxx 600 is down 3.2% since the start of the month, ending a seven-month winning streak.
  • Germany's blue-chip DAX index posted its first negative quarter since the first quarter of 2020.
  • In terms of data, new figures showed the U.K. economy growing by 5.5% in the second quarter, higher than a previous estimate.

European stocks closed slightly higher on Thursday but still wrapped up the month in negative territory.


The pan-European Stoxx 600 provisionally closed up 0.2%, paring some of its earlier gains. The index is down 3.2% since the start of the month, ending a seven-month winning streak.

Germany's blue-chip DAX fell 3.6% for the month, marking its first negative month since January 2021 and its worst month since October last year. The DAX also posted its first negative quarter since the first quarter of 2020.

It comes as traders have been tracking the results of Germany's election, which will see longtime leader Angela Merkel step down after 16 years.

Data deluge

On Thursday, investors in Europe were watching a number of important data releases. The U.K. economy grew by 5.5% in the second quarter, official data revealed, outstripping a previous estimate of 4.8% GDP growth.

French consumer spending rose by 1% in August from the previous month, after falling 2.4% in July. A Reuters poll had forecast a rise a 0.1%.

Euro zone unemployment fell in August, in line with expectations as a downward trend which began early in 2021 continued. EU statistics office Eurostat revealed Thursday that unemployment across the 19-member currency bloc dropped to 7.5% of the workforce in August, down from 7.6% in July.

In Asia, shares traded mixed overnight as investors reacted to the release of Chinese factory activity data for September.

China's official manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index for September came in at 49.6, below expectations for a reading of 50.1 by analysts in a Reuters poll. PMI reading below 50 represent contraction while those above that level signify expansion.

Stateside, U.S. stocks were mixed Thursday, with Wall Street set to wrap up a losing month.

In terms of individual share price movement, Belgian insurer Ageas gained 5.8% amid a share buyback program and Sweden's Sinch climbed 3.1% after agreeing to buy email delivery platform Pathwire for $1.9 billion.

At the bottom of the European blue chip index, Belgian retailer Colruyt fell 9% after lowering its full-year guidance on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Malta-based gambling company Kindred Group fell 6.5% after U.S. investment firm Capital Group doubled its stake in the company.

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— CNBC's Ryan Browne, Eustance Huang and Pippa Stevens contributed to this market report.