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FTSE and Wall Street slip amid weak US and China trade

A look at how the major markets are performing on Tuesday

FTSE New York, United States. 30th May, 2023. Morning sunlight hits a giant American Flag that hangs outside at the entrance to the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street in New York City on Tuesday, May 30, 2023. Congress appears on track to pass legislation to increase the federal borrowing limit and avoid a potentially default on the nation's debt. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI Credit: UPI/Alamy Live News
The FTSE and US stocks slipped on Tuesday. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI/Alamy Live News (UPI, UPI)

European stock markets were in negative territory on Tuesday as UK retail data showed that like-for-like sales slowed during July, rising 1.8% but well below the three-month average of 3.3%.

In London, the FTSE 100 (^FTSE) fell 0.5% by afternoon trade, also knocked by weaker-than-expected trade data from China, while the CAC (^FCHI) also lost 1% in Paris, and the Frankfurt DAX (^GDAXI) was 1.2% lower.

Across the pond, the S&P 500 (^GSPC) lost 1% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq (^IXIC) was 1.2% lower at the opening bell. The Dow Jones (^DJI) also slipped 1.2%.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) revealed that food sales performed particularly well during the period, but at the expense of online sales of non-food items like clothes which showed a sharp slowdown.

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"It is clear that consumers are spending their money much more carefully and spending only when necessary, as Bank of England rate hikes continue to bite on incomes," Michael Hewson of CMC Markets said.

"With some consumers approaching a cliff edge as their fixed rate terms come up for expiry, they may well be saving more in order to mitigate the impact of an impending sharp rise in mortgage costs."

A separate survey from Barclaycard showed that spending on entertainment saw a boost of 15.8% even as clothing sales declined. Bars, pubs, and clubs saw a pickup in spending as did the concerts and movies.

Hewson added: "Bars, pubs, and clubs saw a pickup in spending as did the entertainment sector as Taylor Swift did for July, what Beyoncé did for May.

"The release of a big slate of summer films may also have offered a boost with the latest Indiana Jones film, along with Mission Impossible Dead Reckoning, Barbie and Oppenheimer prompting people to venture out given the wetter weather during the month."

Read more: Property: How to give your home a summer MOT

Meanwhile, exports in China during July suffered a bigger than expected decline of 14.5%. This was worst performance since February 2020, with global demand remaining weak.

Imports saw a decline of 12.4%, an even worse performance from June’s 6.8%, with all sectors of the economy showing weakness.

Watch: What is a recession and how do we spot one?

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