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European Equities: Service Sector PMIs and Brexit in Focus

Economic Calendar:

Thursday, 3rd December

Spanish Services PMI (Nov)

Italian Services PMI (Nov)

French Services PMI (Nov) Final

German Services PMI (Nov) Final

Eurozone Markit Composite PMI (Nov) Final

Eurozone Services PMI (Nov) Final

Eurozone Retail Sales (MoM) (Oct)

Friday, 4th December

German Factory Orders (MoM) (Oct)

IHS Markit Construction PMI (Nov)

The Majors

It was a mixed day for the European majors on Wednesday, following Monday’s gains. The DAX30 and EuroStoxx600 fell by 0.52% and by 0.05% respectively, while the CAC40 ended the day up by 0.02%.

For the majors, concerns over a lack of progress towards Brexit pegged the majors back on the day. Also weighing on the majors and the DAX30, in particular, was news that the Democrats would retain the phase 1 trade agreement with China near-term.

There were positives, however, that provided support. News of the UK approving the BioNTech/Pfizer.inc vaccine delivered support, as did Joe Biden talk of a COVID-19 stimulus package.

According to reports on Wednesday, the President-Elect stated that delivering a COVID-19 stimulus package was an immediate priority.

The Stats

It was a relatively busy day on the Eurozone economic calendar. German retail sales figures for October were in focus going into the European open.

According to Destatis, retail sales rose by 2.6% in October, reversing a 1.9% slide in September. Economists had forecast a 1.2% rise.

  • Compared with the same month a year ago, retail sales were up by 8.2%.
  • Supermarket, self-service department shops, and hypermarket sales were up by 7.9%, year-on-year.
  • In the non-food retail sector, sales rose by 9.0%.
  • When compared with February 2020, the pre-COVID-19 pandemic month, retail sales rose by 5.9%.

Unemployment numbers from Spain and the Eurozone released later in the day had a muted impact on the majors.

In Spain, the unemployment rose by 25.3k in September, following a 49.6k jump in August.

For the Eurozone, the unemployment rate slipped from an upwardly revised 8.5% to 8.4% in October. Economists had forecast an unemployment rate of 8.4%.

According to Eurostat,

  • While down from 8.5% in September, unemployment was up from 7.4% in October 2019.
  • Compared with September 2020, Eurostat estimates that the number of unemployed persons fell by 91,000.
  • By contrast, however, the number of unemployed persons increased by 2.186 million when compared with October 2019.

From the U.S

ADP non-farm employment change figures were in focus late in the day.

In November, nonfarm employment increased by 307k, falling short of a forecasted 410k increase. In October, nonfarm employment had increased by 365k.

The Market Movers

For the DAX: It was a mixed day for the auto sector on Wednesday. Continental slid by 1.56%, with BMW and Volkswagen falling by 0.39% and by 0.44% respectively. Daimler rose by 0.24%, however, to buck the trend on the day.

It was a bullish day for the banks. Deutsche Bank rose by 0.90%, with Commerzbank ending the day up by 1.81%.

From the CAC, it was a bullish day for the banks. BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole rose by 1.69% and by 1.67% respectively, with Soc Gen gaining 2.10%.

It was a mixed day for the French auto sector, however. Peugeot fell by 0.79%, while Renault rose by 1.45%.

Air France-KLM slipped by 0.85%, while Airbus SE rose by 2.15%, following Tuesday’s 1.90% gain.

On the VIX Index

It was a 2nd consecutive day in the green for the VIX, after having fallen for 5 consecutive days. Following on from Tuesday’s 0.97% gain, the VIX rose by 1.93% to end the day at 21.17.

Disappointing ADP nonfarm figures had limited impact, while plans to retain the phase 1 trade agreement with China was market negative. On the positive, however, remained progress towards a COVID-19 vaccine and hopes of a stimulus package to support the U.S economy.

For the U.S markets, it was a mixed day after Tuesday’s gains and last month’s rally. The Dow and S&P500 rose by 0.20% and by 0.18% respectively, while the NASDAQ slipped by 0.05%.

VIX 031220 Daily Chart

The Day Ahead

It’s a busy day ahead on the Eurozone economic calendar. Key stats include services and composite PMI numbers for Italy and Eurozone retail sales figures.

Finalized services and composite PMI figures for November are also due out for France, Germany, and the Eurozone.

We would expect the Eurozone’s composite and services PMI to have the greatest impact on the majors.

From the U.S, the all-important ISM services PMI and weekly jobless claims figures will also influence later in the day.

Away from the economic calendar, Brexit and COVID-19 news updates will need monitoring. Any further chatter on a stimulus package from Capitol Hill would influence.

The Futures

In the futures markets, at the time of writing, the Dow Mini was up by 18 points.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.