Tue. Oct 20th, 2020

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European markets close lower with economic data in focus

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European shares

Traders are pictured at their desks in front of the DAX board at the Frankfurt stock exchange April 17, 2015. REUTERS/Remote

The pan-European Stoxx 600 provisionally ended down by 1.5%, reversing earlier gains, as almost all sectors slipped into negative territory. Technology stocks led the losses, falling almost 4%.

U.S. Labor Department figures released Thursday showed that new filings for unemployment benefits totaled 881,000 for the week ending Aug. 29, beating the 950,000 expected in a Dow Jones poll of economists.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 provisionally ended down by 1.5%, reversing earlier gains, as almost all sectors slipped into negative territory.

Final euro area Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) composite readings showed that economic activity expanded by more than expected in August, coming in at 51.9 against a forecast of 51.6, with a reading above 50 representing monthly expansion.

This was lower than the 54.9 reading for July, however, as a number of European countries wrestle with resurgences in coronavirus cases.

Germany’s services PMI for August was revised sharply higher to 52.5 from a preliminary estimate of 50.8.

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