European indexes slump on renewed China slowdown fears – MarketWatch


All major European indexes fell Thursday, but were off their worst levels after weak economic data from China and the latest breakdown in talks over the U.S. government shutdown combined to spook investors.

Mining stocks were struggling, but it was a better story for the U.K.’s big retailers as Christmas sales announcements continued to roll in.

What did markets do?

The Stoxx Europe 600














SXXP, -0.16%












 fell by 0.1% to 347.26, after finishing up 0.5% on Wednesday.

France’s CAC 40














PX1, -0.60%












was the biggest regional loser on Thursday, dropping by 0.5% to 4,789.49. The German Dax 30














DAX, -0.18%












lost 0.1% to 10,880.12, while the U.K.’s FTSE 100














UKX, -0.22%












was flat at 6,902.49.

Italy’s FTSE MIB Italy index














I945, -0.10%












lost 0.1% to 19,156.58.

The euro














EURUSD, -0.1732%












 slid to $1.1535 from $1.1545 late in New York on Wednesday, while the pound














GBPUSD, -0.2033%












 dropped to $1.2758 from $1.2788.

What is driving the markets?

Consumer and producer prices decelerated sharply in China last month, compounding the challenge for Beijing to boost sluggish demand in a deepening economic downturn. This replaced earlier investor optimism created by the progress being made in trade talks between Washington and Beijing.

Another worry for investors is the partial U.S. government shutdown, with the stalemate entrenched after President Donald Trump walked out of his latest meeting with Democrats on Wednesday.

In France, industrial production unexpectedly fell in November — flashing another a warning sign from one of the world’s major economies. Production fell 1.3% in November, French statistics agency Insee said Thursday, well short of analysts’ expectations of an increase of 0.1%.

In the U.K., an alliance of MPs came together on Wednesday to force key amendments for the preparation of a possible ‘no deal’ Brexit from the European Union. The amendments require Prime Minister Theresa May to produce a plan B for Brexit within three days if she loses the crucial Jan. 15 parliamentary vote on her proposed exit deal.

What stocks are active?

Miners were under pressure on Thursday, with BHP Group PLC














BHP, -6.17%












 losing nearly 6% and Glencore PLC














GLEN, -0.78%












 down 0.5%.

German manufacturer Osram Licht AG














OSR, -6.25%












was one of the biggest losers on the Stoxx Europe 600, falling by nearly 6%, a day after the Federal Statistical Office announced poor export figures for November.
















SXXP, -0.16%












Tesco PLC














TSCO, +0.52%












 gained 0.9% after it announced upbeat Christmas sales results on Thursday. Supermarket J Sainsbury PLC














SBRY, +0.55%












 also added 2%.

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