European markets held opening gains after a barrage of data out of the euro-area and the U.K.
Data showed manufacturing growth eased in the euro zone in June while shrinking at the fastest rate in France in the last six months. German manufacturing in June also grew at its slowest pace in eight months.
However, manufacturing in the U.K. expanded at the fastest pace in seven months in June as Markit’s UK manufacturing PMI improved to a seasonally adjusted 57.5 from 57.0 in May.
Stocks on the Move
BNP Paribas advanced 4.2% and was among the top performers after it settled a U.S. sanctions case, pleading guilty to two criminal charges and agreeing to pay almost $9 billion. The lender’s shares have fallen about 20% since it announced the provision for the fine on February 13.
L’Oreal SA was down 0.8% after it too agreed to settle U.S. complaints over deceptive advertising charges.
Over in Frankfurt, Bilfinger SE plunged over 14% after it slashed its 2014 outlook.