European stock markets are narrowly mixed. The DAX is closed as Germany celebrates Unification day, which made for somewhat quieter trading conditions. The French CAC 40 managed a 0.21% gain as of 10:08 AM GMT, the Spanish IBEX has fallen back into negative territory and lost a further 0.38%, as Catalonia conflicts continues to weigh on sentiment.
The Euro Stoxx 50 is down 0.01%, against a 0.06% rise in the FTSE 100. Cautious trading in Europe followed a largely positive session in Asia overnight. Topix and Nikkei reached fresh two-year highs and Chinese stocks traded in Hong Kong rallied as markets reopened after a holiday, benefiting from robust purchasing managers index (PMI) data over the weekend and the People’s Bank of China’s announcement that it will cut reserve requirement ratio for next year.
The Hang Seng was up 2.25%, the Nikkei 1.05% at the close, while the ASX 200 dropped 0.49%, as lower oil prices weighed on energy stocks and a sharp fall in QBE insurance, after the company detailed expected losses from recent hurricanes, dragged the index down.
A steady Reserve Bank of Australia failed to lift sentiment. Mainland China remained closed for holidays. U.S. stock futures are higher and oil prices are down on the day, with the front end NYMEX future trading at USD50.44 per barrel.