European stocks sag on weak eurozone growth

November 15, 2019: Europe's stock markets retreated Thursday as official data confirmed the news of weak eurozone growth, while lingering US-China trade talk uncertainty weighed on New York equities.

Economic growth in the eurozone stood at 0.2 per cent in the third quarter, unchanged from the previous estimate, according to official Eurostat figures published Thursday.

Economic activity was weighed down by Germany, which nevertheless dodged a recession with growth of just 0.1 per cent in the same period.

New York had a low-key day, meanwhile, with the S&P 500 hundred nudging its way to another record close, leaving stocks little changed overall.

Markets got encouraging signals from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who in his second day of congressional testimony said that he expected America's record economic expansion to continue.

– Narrow escape – “While the second estimate of Q3 GDP for the eurozone was unchanged, and Germany narrowly avoided a technical recession, we think that the cyclical downturn in the region still has further to run,” warned analyst Andrew Kenningham at research consultancy Capital Economics.

China's Commerce Ministry on Thursday said the lifting of tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump was a “condition” to reaching the preliminary deal announced last month — suggesting a deal is not imminent.

Peter Cardillo of Spartan Capital Securities told AFP the markets needed positive news in the trade talks to continue gains.

“We need to see any new trade developments to resume the rally,” he said.

In more economic news, data released Thursday showed further signs of strain in China's economy, with a sharp slowdown in consumer spending and factory production, while investment growth hit a record low as the trade war with the United States takes its toll.

But Shanghai added 0.2 per cent as dealers brushed off the data.

Tokyo meanwhile fell 0.8 per cent after data showed Japan's economy grew at a slower pace than forecast in the third quarter as it was hit by trade wars.

Hong Kong tumbled 0.9 per cent following another night of unrest in the city, which has seen an increase in violence since the weekend, while on Thursday protesters blocked roads in certain districts — closing businesses — and disrupted public transport for a fourth day.

The standoff has hammered the Hang Seng Index — which had lost around four percent by Wednesday night — while there are concerns about possible intervention by Beijing.

– Key figures around 2200 GMT – New York – Dow: FLAT at 27,781.96 (close) New York – S&P 500: UP 0.1 percent at 3,096.63 (close) New York – Nasdaq: FLAT percent at 8,479.02 (close) London – FTSE 100: DOWN 0.8 percent at 7,292.76 points (close) Frankfurt – DAX 30: DOWN 0.4 percent at 13,180.23 (close) Paris – CAC 40: DOWN 0.1 percent at 5,901.08 (close) EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.3 percent at 3,688.81 (close) Tokyo – Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.8 percent at 23,141.55 (close) Hong Kong – Hang Seng: DOWN 0.9 percent at 26,323.69 (close) Shanghai – Composite: UP 0.2 percent at 2,909.87 (close) Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2881 from $1.2851 at 2100 GMT Euro/pound: DOWN at 85.55 pence from at 85.65 pence Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1020 from $1.1007 Dollar/yen: DOWN at 108.42 yen from 108.82 yen Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 0.1 percent at $62.28 per barrel West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 0.6 percent at $56.77.

AFP/APP

Posted on: 2019-11-15T09:45:00+05:00

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