World stocks head for biggest monthly drop since February
China factory sector mired in contraction
Markets await U.S. PCE, payrolls data, eurozone inflation
Oil prices on track for biggest monthly rise since Jan 2022

LONDON, Aug 31 Reuters World shares limped towards their worst month since February, with sentiment hurt by stillgloomy China factory readings on Thursday, as traders awaited European and U.S. data that could add to bets that interest rates have peaked.

Europe39;s main bourses started fractionally higher as UBS39;s results and costcutting plans for its Credit Suisse takeover sent its shares 5 higher, and travel and leisure stocks gained 0.7 after their worst month of 2023.

Both SP 500 futures and Nasdaq futures were little changed ahead of U.S. trading later, while Asian shares saw a lowkey finish to a difficult August, especially in China39;s property market which has slumped again. 

European bond yields and the euro both dipped ahead of euro zone inflation data as investors pondered if early readings, showing prices remained stubbornly high in both Germany and France in August, could mean the European Central Bank delivers another rate hike next month.

One of the ECB39;s top policymakers, Isabel Schnabel, also cautioned in a speech that recent falls in riskfree rates in Europe meant markets may have undone some of the ECB39;s work.

Those rates are now back to February levels, Schnabel explained. This decline could counteract our efforts to bring…

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