European shares slip as commodity stocks extend losses

Reuters | | Updated on: Jan 22, 2018

European shares fell on Tuesday, with mining and energy stocks extending losses in the wake of weak data this week from China, the world’s second-biggest economy.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which had opened flat, lost ground to stand 0.6 per cent lower, as did the euro zone’s blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index.

Miners such as Glencore and BHP Billiton fell for the second session in a row in the aftermath of data from China on Monday, which showed growth in the world’s leading consumer of metals was at its slowest since the global financial crisis.

Major energy stocks such as BP and Total also fell, with oil prices losing ground on concerns about oversupply and the health of the global economy.

“There is still the legacy of the weak Chinese data that is hanging over parts of the market today,’’ said Hantec Markets' analyst Richard Perry.

Satellite companies Eutelsat and SES also weakened after Goldman Sachs downgraded both to “sell’’ from “neutral’’.

However, Actelion rose 4 per cent after it raised its full-year earnings forecast as sales of its new drug to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension beat analysts' expectations.

Signs of a Chinese slowdown knocked back European shares in the third quarter, but both the FTSEurofirst and the Euro STOXX 50 remain up by around 5 per cent since the start of 2015, helped by supportive measures from the European Central Bank (ECB).

The ECB has pumped cash into the region’s markets and kept interest rates at a record low to bolster the overall economy. Traders expected the ECB to pledge similar measures in the future at its meeting on Thursday.

Credit Suisse’s European economics team wrote in a note that they expected ECB head Mario Draghi to “sound very dovish’’ at the Thursday meeting, preparing the ground to unveil further economic stimulus measures in December.

Published on October 20, 2015
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