European Shares Lack Direction As Business Surveys Signal Deepening Downturn

European stocks were subdued on Monday, with weak Eurozone business activity data and an inconclusive election result in Spain keeping investors nervous.

The HCOB Flash Eurozone Composite PMI Output Index, which gauges activity in the manufacturing and services sector, fell to an eight-month low of 48.9 in July from 49.9 in June.

French and German PMI data also came in weaker than expected, raising fears of a recession.

Elsewhere in the U.K., the S&P Global/CIPS composite Purchasing Managers’ Index showed a preliminary reading of 50.7, down from 52.8 in June.

Investors also looked ahead to key central bank meetings and earnings from tech giants including Meta, Microsoft and Alphabet due this week for directional cues.

The pan European STOXX 600 was marginally higher at 465.86 after gaining 0.3 percent on Friday.

The German DAX and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 were little changed while France’s CAC 40 was down 0.2 percent.

Madrid’s IBEX Index was down 0.8 percent after a late swing toward Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s Socialists denied his right-wing opponents a majority in parliament.

In corporate news, Danish biotech company Bavarian Nordic plummeted 23 percent after saying that it was ending its respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine program, following poor trial results.

Swiss wealth manager Julius Baer jumped more than 8 percent after reporting strong earnings.

British online grocer Ocado jumped 10.5 percent after settling a three-year intellectual property dispute with Norwegian robotics company AutoStore Holdings.

Telecom company Vodafone surged 4.4 percent after reporting better revenue growth in the first quarter and naming a new CFO.

S4 Capital slumped 18 percent after the digital advertising and marketing-services firm cut its annual revenue growth and core profit margin forecasts, citing challenging macroeconomic conditions and cautious clients.

Alstom rose over 1 percent in Paris. The French rolling stock maker and RAILPOOL, a German rolling stock leasing firm, have signed a contract worth up to 260 million euros, for 50 Traxx Universal multi-purpose locomotives.

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