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FTSE and oil prices head 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 by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP) (Photo by KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images)
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 and oil prices dipped on Monday 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.

Meanwhile the FTSE 100 (^FTSE) was 1% lower by the closing bell in London, the DAX (^GDAXI) waned 0.6 % and the CAC (^FCHI) was 1% lower. 

“It’s a downbeat start to trading on Monday with the FTSE 100 giving up some of last week’s gains. The oil and mining sectors helped drag down the index as BHP confirmed it was in talks over an exit from its petroleum division,” said AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould.

Brent crude futures (BZ=F) fell 1.5% to trade at $9.55 per barrel by the end of the session. Crude futures (CL=F) were also 1.6% lower to trade at $67.40.

US stocks were also lower at the closing bell in Europe, with the S&P 500 (^GSPC) down 0.5%, the Dow (^DJI) 0.3% lower and the Nasdaq (^IXIC) registering a 1.1% decline.

A key measure of manufacturing output registered a steep decline in July, with the headline measure for the Empire State manufacturing survey falling by 25 points to a reading of 18.3 for August. 

That was described as a “significant” drop by the NY Fed.

The survey also pointed to fresh inflationary pressures — something that has been worrying investors as economies bounce back. 

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."

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.

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