Survey shows extent Ukraine crisis has weighed on European business confidence

On the day that the outlook for the European economy may have just become a little bit brighter following a cease-fire agreement in eastern Ukraine, a closely watched survey shows the extent to which the crisis in the country has weighed on business confidence across the continent.

Financial information company Markit highlighted tensions in Ukraine for a sharp fall in its monthly gauge of business activity for the 18-country eurozone.

Its purchasing managers' index fell to 52.5 points in August from July's 3-month high of 53.8. Though above the 50 threshold that signals growth, the indicator is at its lowest level this year and below the preliminary estimate of 52.8.

Separately Wednesday, the European Union's statistics office, Eurostat, said eurozone retail sales fell by a monthly 0.4 percent in July.