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Europe midday: Shares gain after eurozone PMI data; DAX outperforms

(Sharecast News) - European markets made strong gains in the morning session on Wednesday as investiors cheered survey data showing eurozone business activity fell at the slowest rate for six months in January.

The pan-regional Stoxx 600 index was up 0.94% at 475.95 with all major bourses higher. Germany's DAX outperformed with a 1.24% gain, despite the Institute for Economic Research forecasting that gross domestic product was likely to grow by just 0.7% in 2024, down from a previous forecast of 0.9% in response to drastic cuts to the government's 2024 budget amid a funding shortfall.

Business activity in the eurozone fell at the slowest rate for six months in January, according to provisional survey data released on Wednesday, albeit with downturns persisting in both manufacturing and service sectors amid further falls in new business.

The flash eurozone composite purchasing managers index came in at at 47.9 compared with 47.6 in December. A mark below 50 indicates contraction.

Meanwhile, the services business activity index hit a three-month low of 48.4 from December's 48.8, while the manufacturing output index was 46.6, from 44.4 - a nine-month high.

In equity news, shares in Siemens Energy surged after first-quarter results came in better than expected.

Shares in semiconductor equipment maker ASML gained after results beat expectations, although it forecast flat revenues for 2024.

German software company SAP jumped 7.7% in early deals after the company released its latest financial results and announced plans to restructure 8,000 jobs in a push toward artificial intelligence growth.

Puma shares fell after the sportswear maker said it expected 2024 sales growth in mid-single-digits, compared with previous guidance of high single-digits after results were hit by the extraordinary devaluation of the Argentine peso by 54% in December 2023.

Reporting by Frank Prenesti for

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Important information: This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to one of Fidelity’s advisers or an authorised financial adviser of your choice. When you are thinking about investing in shares, it’s generally a good idea to consider holding them alongside other investments in a diversified portfolio of assets. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.

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