European markets, the FTSE 100 and US markets were mixed on Monday in London, as traders hold their breath for fresh data and comments from Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell on the central bank's interest rate thinking.
Powell is set to speak at a roundtable discussion later on today.
The FTSE 100 (^FTSE) began the session 0.2% up before falling about 1.4% by the closing bell. Meanwhile the Dax (^GDAXI) in Germany rose 1.2% before heading 1.3% lower and Paris' CAC (^FCHI) pulled back 0.6%, having risen 0.6% earlier in the session.
The more domestically linked FTSE 250 (^FTMC) was down 1.7%.
The moves come after the World Bank cut its forecast for growth in China next year and warned of slow expansion amid mounting concern over the nation's productivity slowdown. The worries underline fears that the global growth engine's troubles could spill over and affect other developed markets.
The World Bank expects China’s economic output would grow 4.4% in 2024, down from the 4.8% it expected in April. This would spell the slowest pace of growth since the 1960s.
Among other data points, the Bank pointed to lagging retail sales, stagnant house prices and increased household debt.
Elsewhere, UK manufacturing data left much to be desired, remaining firmly in contraction in September.
Output, new orders and employment were all cut back further, amid weaker intakes of new work from both domestic and overseas clients, according to S&P Global. Although the outlook for the sector remained positive overall, with 55% of companies expecting growth over the coming 12 months, the level of optimism dipped slightly over the month.
Stay with us for live market updates today:
SmileDirectClub's stock drop
Teeth straightening company SmileDirectClub looks set to open nearly 60% lower when the US markets kick into gear later on today after news broke over the weekend that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
A Chapter 11 allows a company to continue operating while it works out a way to repay its creditors.
The company's founders are set to reinvest $20m into the company in order to revive it, a statement said, after it continued to struggle to turn a profit. Over the last few years it has also been embroiled in a patent battle.
The company, which makes plastic mouth guards which straighten teeth, listed $499m in assets and more than $1bn in liabilities in the petition. Its 2019 IPO had valued the company at $8.9bn.
Pay boost for '2 million'
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is expected to announce increases to the minimum wage in the UK in his Tory party conference speech. The party wants to raise it to £11 ahead of the next election.
The government has said the move will benefit 2 million of the lowest paid, with Hunt also expected to announce ministers will look again at the benefit sanctions regime in a bid to get the unemployed back into work.
The latest manufacturing PMI for the UK shows worsening conditions and sentiment in the sector:
The end of the third quarter saw the downturn at UK manufacturers continue. Output, new orders and employment were all cut back further, amid weaker intakes of new work from both domestic and overseas clients. Although the outlook for the sector remained positive overall, with 55% of companies expecting growth over the coming 12 months, the level of optimism dipped slightly over the month.
It registered a score of 44.3 in September. Any number below 50 indicates contraction.
Rob Dobson from S&P says the sector is still "mired in contraction territory" with "demand falling from both households and businesses."
Meanwhile, Dobson added it's slightly more positive for price inflation, with a warning:
There was slightly better news for producers on the price front, as a mix of lower costs and rising selling prices aided margin protection efforts. However, with oil prices on the rise, the environment may become less disinflationary in the coming months.
Overnight in Asia
Asian markets, particularly across China, seemed to have shrugged off predictions from the World Bank involving poor growth and alarming debt.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng (^HSI) rose 2.5% by the closing bell. The SSE Composite (000001.SS) was also up 0.1%. Despite the positive mood, property giant Evergrande (3333.HK) stock led declines in China, down more than 34% in the last 5 days, as its debt pile and legal woes stack up.
Japan's Nikkei (^N225), meanwhile, lost 0.3% after the Bank of Japan made a surprise announcement that it would intervene in the market for government bonds. It has stepped back from a policy of yield curve control in the past.
New on Yahoo Finance UK:
UK house prices remained unchanged month-on-month in September, but fell 5.3% year-on-year, according to new data released by Nationwide on Monday. This followed a 0.8% decline month-on-month in August, the fastest pace of decline since 2009.
All regions recorded annual house price falls in the third quarter, according to Nationwide's monthly house price monitor.
The South West was the weakest performing region, with prices down 6.3% year on year.
Good morning! It's a grey day here in London but markets are starting the day green. We've had an update on house prices and wobbly predictions from the World Bank. Let's get going.