European markets open to close, stocks, data and earnings

France’s Le Maire: EU must decouple price of gas and decarbonized energy ‘as soon as possible’

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Wednesday that the European Union must decouple the price of gas and decarbonized energy “as soon as possible,” and that France had been working with the EU Commission on the issue.

“I am deeply convinced that this is of the utmost importance to change the rules for the European energy markets. We cannot have this connection between the price of gas and the price of decarbonated energy,” Le Maire told CNBC’s Charlotte Reed.

-Elliot Smith

Stocks on the move: Ackermans & van Haaren up 6%, Drax down 2%

There was little by way of substantial individual share price movement on the Stoxx 600 in early trade.

Belgian diversified group Ackermans & van Haaren climbed 6.6% to lead the index after its first-half results, while British power group Drax slipped 2.5%.

CNBC Pro: What poses the biggest risk to stocks? Wall Street is watching these indicators closely

China’s factory activity contracted in August, official data shows

China’s official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for August stood at 49.4, official data showed.

That’s the second monthly contraction, but is better than the 49.2 that analysts expected, according to a Reuters poll. The PMI in July was at 49.

PMI readings are sequential and represent month-on-month expansion or contraction. The 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction.

The non-manufacturing PMI came in at 52.6 for August, compared with a reading of 53.8 in July.

—Abigail Ng

CNBC Pro: Morgan Stanley names 3 EV stocks to cash in on Beijing’s auto sector boost

China’s government is striving to boost auto sales, and this is likely to benefit electric vehicles more than their petrol-based counterparts, according to Morgan Stanley.

“While China braces for its slowest quarterly economic growth in two years, the car industry is benefiting from multifaceted stimulus offered by central and local governments,” the bank’s analysts said in a note this month.

They named three buy-rated stocks they expect to get a boost from the measures.

Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Zavier Ong

European markets: Here are the opening calls

European stocks are expected to open cautiously higher on Wednesday with the UK’s FTSE index seen 18 points higher at 7,560, Germany’s DAX 33 points higher at 13,944, France’s CAC 40 up 18 points at 6,616 and Italy’s FTSE MIB up 42 points at 23,029, according to data from IG.

Data releases include preliminary euro zone unemployment data for the second quarter as well as second quarter gross domestic product. The latest UK inflation numbers for July will be released as well as preliminary second quarter Dutch GDP.

Earnings come from Uniper, Carlsberg, Persimmon, Balfour Beatty, BAT and National Grid.

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