European Equity Benchmarks Close Higher

The broad-based major European indices closed higher in Monday trading led by rising technology and health care stocks.

In economic news, the EU28 unemployment rate was 6.3% in May, down from 6.4% in April, and 6.9% in May 2018, which was the lowest rate recorded in the EU28 since the start of the EU monthly unemployment series in January 2000, according to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. The euro area (EA 19) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 7.5% in the euro area in May, down from 7.6% in April, and 8.3% in May 2018. It was the lowest rate recorded in the euro area since July 2008.

Eurostat estimates that 15.653 million men and women in the EU28, of whom 12.348 million are in the euro area, were unemployed in May. Compared with April, the number of persons unemployed decreased 71,000 in the EU28 and 103,000 in the euro area. Compared with May 2018, unemployment fell 1.277 million in the EU28, and 1.133 million in the euro area.

The lowest unemployment rates in May were in Czechia (2.2%), Germany (3.1%) and the Netherlands (3.3%), while the highest unemployment rates were in Greece (18.1% in March 2019), Spain (13.6%) and Italy (9.9%). Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate fell in 23 member states, remained stable in one — Austria, and increased in Denmark, Luxembourg, Poland, and Sweden. The largest decreases were registered in Greece, Spain, and Cyprus.

Meanwhile, manufacturing operating conditions in the euro area deteriorated for a fifth straight month in June as the IHS Markit Eurozone Manufacturing PMI remained below the 50.0 no-change mark, falling to a three-month low of 47.6, from 47.7 in May. The PMI was slightly weaker than the previous flash reading of 47.8.

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