ISSN: 2056-3736 (Online Version) | 2056-3728 (Print Version)


European stock markets started April on a strong footing on Wednesday after a solid round of manufacturing data, partly recovering from sharp losses the prior day when investors banked profit ahead of the new quarter.

On Wednesday, the Stoxx 600 added 0.3% to 398.57, just a few points short of its record close of 405.50 reached in March 2000.

Despite the weakness in Tuesday’s session, most of the region’s benchmarks logged solid quarterly gains, with the German DAX 30 index scoring its best quarter since 2003 ( and the Stoxx Europe 600 index marking its strongest period since 2009 (

Other indexes: Germany’s DAX 30 index rose 0.3% to 12,002.34 on Wednesday, while France’s CAC 40 index put on 0.6% to 5,062.58. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 index ( climbed 0.5% to 6,807.08, buoyed by the benchmark’s oil firms and banks.

Data: The gains in Europe came after the manufacturing purchasing managers’ indexes for the eurozone showed improvement in March. The reading for the eurozone was revised up to 52.2, compared with a flash estimate of 51.9. In February, the PMI was at 51. A reading above 50 signals expansion.

Germany’s manufacturing PMI for March was revised up to 52.8 from an earlier reading of 52.4, to hit an 11-month high.

In France, the number was also adjusted higher, with the PMI coming in at 48.8 compared with a flash estimate of 48.2.