.SSEC

European Markets Close Mixed as Mining Stocks Fall; Saint-Gobain Up 4%

Kay Nietfeld | dpa | picture alliance via Getty Images
  • The pan-European Stoxx 600 index ended the session just below the flatline. Basic resources fell 1.9% to lead losses, with miners Anglo American and Antofagasta dropping 2.9% and 3.6%, respectively.
  • A private survey released Thursday showed Chinese services activity growth slowing in May.
  • Stateside, investors continued to monitor wild moves in meme stocks, particularly AMC Entertainment.

LONDON — European stocks closed mixed Thursday as investors reacted to fresh economic data and looked ahead to a key U.S. jobs report later this week.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index ended the session just below the flatline. Basic resources fell 1.9% to lead losses, with miners Anglo American and Antofagasta dropping 2.9% and 3.6%, respectively.

The index was unmoved by the latest euro zone business activity data which rose in May as coronavirus restrictions eased.

The IHS Markit's final composite Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to 57.1 in May, up from 53.8 in April. The final reading was ahead of a preliminary 56.9 indication. The 50-point mark separates growth from contraction.

Lackluster sentiment in Europe comes after shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed in overnight trade, as investors reacted to data releases in Australia showing positive retail sales growth and the latest economic data out of China.

private survey released Thursday showed Chinese services activity growth slowing in May. The Caixin/Markit services Purchasing Managers' Index for May came in at 55.1 on Thursday, lower than the reading of 56.3 in April.

On Wall Street, stocks were mostly lower, though the Dow Jones Industrial Average turned positive on the back of better-than-expected labor market data.

The market, focused on the link between inflation pressures and the reopening of U.S. businesses, is on tenterhooks before the release of the jobs report Friday, which is likely to show an additional 671,000 nonfarm payrolls in May, compared to the 266,000 jobs that were added the month before, according to economists polled by Dow Jones.

Investors continued to monitor the wild action in meme stocks, particularly theater chain AMC Entertainment. The stock tumbled as much as 30% after practically doubling in the prior session.

Back in Europe, shares of Saint-Gobain were up 4.1%, making it the best performer on the Stoxx 600 index after the French construction materials group said it expected record operating income and margin for the first half of the year, Reuters reported.

National Grid was among the worst performers, its shares down 4% as it traded ex-dividend.

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- CNBC's Ryan Browne, Tanaya Macheel and Eustance Huang contributed to this market report.

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