European Shares Mixed Amid Data Deluge

European stocks were trading mixed on Friday amid concerns the continued surge in the Delta variant of coronavirus is weakening economic growth.

Eurozone private sector logged another robust growth in August but the momentum faded slightly from July’s 15-year peak, final data from IHS Markit showed earlier today.

The final composite output index fell to 59.0 in August from 60.2 in July, which was the highest since June 2006. The reading stood below the flash 59.5.

Elsewhere, the composite PMI reading for U.K. fell to 54.8 in August from 59.2 in July.

Eurozone retail sales fell 2.3 percent over the previous month in July, the EU’s statistics agency Eurostat said – coming in below forecasts for a 0.2 percent rise.

Investors now await U.S. employment data later in the day for clues on the Federal Reserve’s timeline and pace of asset tapering.

The pan European Stoxx 600 dropped 0.2 percent to 473.90 after rising 0.3 percent on Thursday.

The German DAX was little changed and France’s CAC 40 index declined 0.3 percent while the U.K.’s FTSE 100 was up 0.1 percent.

Mining giant BHP rose 1.4 percent after tumbling 5.6 percent the previous day on going ex-dividend.

Antofagasta and Rio Tinto gained about 1 percent each as metal prices advanced.

Discoverie Group shares jumped as much as 14 percent. The electronic components manufacturer and supplier said that it has raised 55 million pounds ($76.1 million) via share placing.

Ashmore Group slumped 5.5 percent after the investment manager reported a 12 percent dip in annual net revenue.

Covestro shares edged up slightly after reports that the German chemicals maker plans to cut up to 1,700 of its 16,500 jobs worldwide.

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