World Shares Mixed as Economic Data Cloud Outlook

Shares rose in early European trading on Friday after retreating in Asia as the latest batch of economic data provided mixed signals about prospects for the recovery from the pandemic, the Associated Press reported. Two surveys showed Chinese manufacturing expanded in April but growth appeared to be slowing. Figures showed Europe’s economy contracted in the first three months of the year, while the U.S. economy steamed ahead, growing at a 6.4% annual pace. Major recent coronavirus outbreaks and slow progress in vaccinations are adding to worries about the outlook for economies in Asia and Europe. France’s CAC 40 inched down less than 0.1% in early trading to 6,300.06, while Germany’s DAX added 0.4% to 15,212.91. Britain’s FTSE 100 added 0.3% to 6,982.92. U.S. shares were set for a slow start, the future for the Dow industrials down nearly 0.2% at 33,900. S&P 500 futures fell 0.2% to 4,193.12. The contraction in the 19 countries that use the euro currency compares to a robust rebound underway in the United States. The second straight quarter of falling output, following contraction in the fourth quarter of 2021, confirms Europe’s double-dip pandemic recession. Two quarters of falling output is one definition of a recession. Chinese manufacturing expanded in April but growth might be slowing after a rebound from the coronavirus pandemic, surveys showed. Read more.