Europe midday: Shares up as eurozone inflation falls
European shares were in upbeat mood at midday Thursday as eurozone inflation fell, combining with positive data from China and Germany and an initial vote in favour of the US debt ceiling deal.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was up 0.8% in early deals, with all major bourses higher.
Sentiment was lifted as eurozone inflation fell again, as energy prices continued to decline. CPI inflation was expected to be 6.1% in May, down from 7% in April, according to official data. Energy prices fell 1.7% year on year.
Food, alcohol and tobacco prices rose by 12.5% over the last year, down from 13.5% in April. Industrial goods inflation slowed to 5.8% from 6.2% in April, while services inflation fell to 5% from 5.2%.
In the US, the bill to raise the nation's debt limit and cap government spending passed by 314-117 in the House of Representatives late on Wednesday. Lawmakers hope it will now clear the Democratic-controlled Senate within 48 hours, ahead of the June 5 deadline for avoiding a potential default.
In Asia, factory activity in China showed an unexpected jump to growth in May from decline, according to a private sector survey published on Thursday, as demand and production improved.
The Caixin/S&P Global manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI), rose to 50.9 in May from 49.5 in April and above forecasts of 49.5.
Meanwhile, German retail sales climbed by 0.8% month-to-month in April, partially reversing a 2.4% decline in March, and slightly below consensus for a 1% increase, the Federal Statistics Office said on Thursday.
Corporate news was starting to thin out but shares in UK bootmaker Dr Martens still hit the headlines, slumping 12% as the company posted a slump in annual earnings an warned of lower margins.