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European markets: European shares aiming for fourth straight month-to-month revenue, however weaker Asian dates, holidays weigh in

European stocks were set for May's fourth consecutive month of profit, but the month ended on Monday on Monday after tepid economic news from China and Japan.

Market closings due to public holidays in London and the US also kept many investors on the sidelines.

The Stoxx Europe 600
SXXP,
-0.05%
was unchanged at 448.88 and thus just below the record closing level of 448.98 on Friday. For May, the index has gained around 2.5% since the beginning of the month. The German DAX
DAX,
-0.24%
slipped 0.3% and the French CAC 40
PX1,
-0.02%
rose 0.1% and rose 2.3% and 3.5% respectively for the month.

All indices marked their fourth consecutive monthly advance, similar to the Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA,
+ 0.19%
and S&P 500 indices
SPX,
+ 0.08%,
This ended trading of the month on Friday. The Nasdaq Composite
COMP,
+ 0.09%
fell for the month. US stock futures
ES00,
-0.07%

YM00,

NQ00,
-0.17%
showed modest gains for Tuesday when trading resumed.

Wall Street stocks posted weekly gains after data showed strong economic activity, although inflation remains worrying after hitting the highest PCE inflation rate in the US in nearly 13 years. This week's data stack will contain all of the major non-farm payrolls for May.

Read: Life may feel safer this summer, but betting on a quiet stock market could still go wrong

Monday's thin action was overshadowed by data showing weaker retail sales in Japan and flat Chinese production in May. The Nikkei 225 Index
NIK,
-0.99%
The price fell 0.9% from the previous month, while the Chinese CSI 300 index
000300,
+ 0.20%
rose by 0.2%. However, it ended the month up 4%.

China's official manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) fell in May, while the non-manufacturing PMI, which includes services and construction, rose slightly. News also came from China that the southern city of Guangzhou was forced to cancel hundreds of flights after a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Elsewhere, May retail sales in Japan were down month-on-month and factory production surged above pre-pandemic levels for the first time but fell short of expectations.

Also on Monday, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development raised its forecasts for global economic performance for 2021 thanks to vaccines and fiscal incentives for the United States. The growth forecast for the USA was raised from 6.5% to 6.9%, while the growth forecast for the euro zone was increased from 3.9% to 4.3%. The growth in China increased from 7.8% to 8.5%.

However, the Paris-based research panel warned that emerging economies would fall far behind. The growth forecast for India has been lowered from 12.6% to 9.9%.

Among the companies in focus is Assicurazioni Generali
G,
+ 0.56%
On Monday, the company launched a € 1.18 billion ($ 1.44 billion) takeover bid for the smaller peer Societa Cattolica di Assicurazione
CASS,
+ 12.96%
Dow Jones Newswires reported to strengthen its position as Italy's largest insurer. Assicurazioni shares were unchanged, but Societa shares rose 12%.

Kinnevik shares
KINV.B,
+ 5.62%
rose 4% after the Swedish investment firm announced that digital health company Babylon Holdings Ltd. is examining the IPO through a special acquisition agreement, reported Dow Jones Newswires. Kinnevik, who owns a 16% stake in Babylon, said Sunday that no final decision has been made to proceed with a transaction.

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