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European stocks rose on Wednesday, as investors brushed off a mixed batch of purchasing managers data and shares of sportswear makers and automakers rose.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index (XX:SXXP) rose 1.1% to 361.58, after rising 0.2% on Tuesday. The German DAX (DX:DAX) climbed 1.4%, the French CAC (FR:PX1) rose 1.6% and FTSE 100 index (UK:UKX) gained 1.7%.
The euro (EURUSD) fell 0.1% against the dollar, while the pound was even weaker (GBPUSD) dropping 0.3%. Dollar strength can help European and U.K. exporters by making their prices more competitive overseas.
The IHS Markit flash eurozone manufacturing PMI rose to 53.7 from 51.7, while the services PMI dropped to 47.6 from 51.9 in September. The composite PMI barely above 50, indicating a hit to the overall economy as coronavirus cases increased across the region. But there were some improvements in manufacturing.
Elsewhere, data from market-research group GfK showed German consumer sentiment is set to stabilize in October, after a sharp fall in September.
Investors continue to watch the rise in coronavirus cases across Europe, with U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announcing new restrictions for the country on Tuesday. He spoke of “unquestionably difficult months to come,” and warned that if people refuse to cooperate, the government will take measures further.
Italy has reportedly shut its borders with France, saying it will now require COVID-19 tests for those travelers.
Stock futures (DJI)(S)(NASDA) were higher, boosted by supportive comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who testified on Capital Hill over the central bank’s pandemic response. Powell will make a second appearance in DC on Wednesday. U.S. PMI data is ahead, as well as appearances by other Fed speakers.
Shares of Nike (NKE) rallied 8% in late trading on Tuesday after the sportwear maker blew past analysts forecasts for the quarter. Shares of adidas (XE:ADS) shares gained 4% and PUMA (XE:PUM)rose 3.9%.
Automakers are also climbing, with shares of Peugeot (FR:UG) rising over 3%. The company said it would buy back 10 million of its own shares from Dongfeng Motors. Elsewhere, Renault rose over 3%,