A slew of dour PMI readings has weighed on sentiment in European trading, while in London Rolls-Royce is enjoying a rebound after news of a new push into narrow-body aircraft.

  • Eurozone & UK PMIs paint gloomy picture

  • No real upside catalyst in sight for stock markets

  • Rolls-Royce jumps 5%, but is this time any different?

A more cautious mood has descended on stock markets in Europe this morning, after final PMI readings provided a less than stellar outlook for the region. The rash of figures confirmed the pessimistic near-term view of the eurozone economy and for the UK as well, as service sectors across the continent remain in contraction territory. Losses on stock markets are still relatively modest, since like the downturn earlier in the year, today's figures have very much been a reflection of existing information – everyone can see it will have been tough month thanks to lockdown measures bearing down on economic performance. Stock markets continue instead to look for an upside case to support further gains from their current levels, but despite talk of progress on US stimulus, the EU recovery fund and Brexit, nothing as yet has appeared that can really galvanise investors into piling back into equities.

Rolls-Royce has always managed to demonstrate a capacity to adapt to even the toughest times, and today's announcement about a move back towards the narrow-body jetliner market has provided the spark the shares have been searching for in order to maintain their rebound from the November lows. The shares have only recouped around a third of their losses from late October, and the bounce since the beginning of November is perhaps only the latest in a series of false dawns for a share price that has yet to find a low.

Ahead of the open, we expect the Dow to start at 29,819, down 64 points from last night's close.

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