European stocks start 4th quarter with gains: focus on PMI data

European stocks started the final quarter of 2023 with modest gains on Monday, as the U.S. avoided a federal government shutdown, while investors focussed on factory activity data for clues on the health of eurozone businesses.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.4% as of 0717 GMT, after ending the third quarter about 2.5% lower on Friday.

Wall Street futures climbed in relief after the U.S. Congress passed a stopgap funding bill late on Saturday, avoiding the federal government’s fourth partial shutdown in a decade.

Investors are awaiting euro zone’s manufacturing activity data scheduled for release at 0800 GMT. The HCOB purchasing manager’s index (PMI), compiled by S&P Global, is seen at 43.4 in September, the same level as shown in the flash reading.

Among individual stocks, Vivendi (OTC:VIVHY) rose 3.3% after Barclays upgraded the French media company to “Overweight”.

BAE Systems (LON:BAES) climbed 2.1% after Britain awarded the defence company a 4 billion pound ($4.89 billion) contract as part of the AUKUS programme with Australia and the U.S. to build attack submarines.

($1 = 0.8187 pounds)

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