FTSE heads lower following disappointing Chinese data

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A man walks past an electronic quotation board displaying a share price of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo on August 16, 2021. Photo: KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images

Stocks in Europe dipped on Monday morning in London, following Asia lower after a disappointing set of economic data in China. 

Chinese figures on July retail sales, industrial production and urban investment all missed forecasts, a trend that is only likely to get worse given the recent tightening in coronavirus restrictions there.

Asian stocks finished the day mostly in the red. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (^HSI) lost nearly 1.1% and the Nikkei (^N225) in Japan was around 1.6% lower.

Meanwhile the FTSE 100 (^FTSE) was 0.7% lower at the open in London, the DAX (^GDAXI) waned 0.6% and the CAC (^FCHI) was 0.8% lower. 

Wall Street had managed fresh records last week even as a survey showed a shock slump in US consumer sentiment to the lowest since 2011 amid Delta fears.

The University of Michigan’s consumer confidence index fell 13.5%, settling near the lows seen at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in April 2020. 

Such a sharp decline has only occurred once before, during the 2008 global financial crisis. As a result, the 10-year US government bond’s price jumped while its yield fell 0.07%, settling at 1.29%.

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“Stock traders should understand that the drop in consumer confidence is primarily an emotional reaction on the part of consumers,” said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at AvaTrade. “Investors expected the pandemic to be over, but the uptick in Delta cases proved otherwise.”

US stock futures looked set for a lower open with S&P 500 futures (ES=F) moving 0.2% lower, the Dow (YM=F) set to open 0.3% lower and the Nasdaq (NQ=F) facing a 0.1% decline. 

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