Manufacturing PMI data dominates US free trading

The FTSE has dropped on weak economic data and after a couple of hours is down by 16 points.

London skyline
Source: Bloomberg

European markets got off to a broadly positive start even though US markets are closed as they celebrate Labor Day. There is plenty to keep the attention of European traders this week, with a number of economic data signposts to offer investors an indication of the varying stages of recovery across Europe. First has been today’s manufacturing PMI figures which have brought a clean sweep of disappointment, with none of the UK or eurozone nations meeting expectations.

Next up will be services PMI on Wednesday, Bank of England and European Central Bank rate decisions on Thursday, and then the lottery of the US non-farm payroll figures to round the week off on Friday.  

If new Tesco CEO, Dave Lewis, was under any illusions that the markets would afford him a 'honeymoon period' upon taking over the reins at the UK food retailing giant, then this morning’s share price action should have put paid to that.

Investor grumblings are increasing the pressure on GlaxoSmithKline chairman Christopher Gent ahead of his proposed 2015 departure. The company has seen its global reputation tarnished with a number of corruption allegations being revealed. A shakeup of management looks like the most likely action required to assuage the markets. 

US markets closed out last week on a positive note and the expected selloff in anticipation of today’s Labor Day holiday never materialised, which should bode well for the start of Tuesday's trading.  

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