European stocks snap 10-day rally as China data drags

Dublin follows other markets lower with hotel operator Dalata down 4.6%

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index fell 0.5 per cent to 473.45, easing from a record level scaled last week

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index fell 0.5 per cent to 473.45, easing from a record level scaled last week

 

A surprisingly sharp slowdown in Chinese economic activity and a rapid Taliban takeover in Afghanistan helped drive global shares lower Monday.

Disappointing data out of China ended a 10-day run of gains for European stocks, with commodity-linked stocks – which are sensitive to demand from China – falling the most.

All three major US indices opened sharply lower, after posting fresh record highs last week.

Dublin

The Dublin market followed other European indices down with the Iseq index closing 0.8 per cent lower.

The board was a sea of red with Hibernia Reit and Kingspan among only a small number of stocks to stay positive.

Dalata was among the worst performers as sentiment turned sour, down 4.6 per cent.

Banks were also in retreat with Bank of Ireland and AIB down 1.3 per cent and 1.8 per cent lower respectively.

Iseq heavyweight CRH lost 1.1 per cent, while Flutter was 1.7 per cent lower. Other fallers included Smurfit Kappa, which was down 0.9 per cent and Ryanair, down 0.7 per cent.

London

London’s FTSE 100 on Monday recorded its worst session in nearly a month, as weakness in commodity prices hit heavyweight energy and mining shares, while Ultra Electronics jumped after it agreed to a takeover deal.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 ended 0.9 per cent lower, dragged down by miners, energy stocks, and financials. BHP Group fell 1.8 per cent after the world’s biggest miner said it was in talks to sell its petroleum business to Australia’s top independent gas producer Woodside Petroleum.

Ultra Electronics Holdings jumped 5.9 per cent to touch record highs after defence firm Cobham said it agreed to buy the company in a deal valuing its UK-listed rival at £2.57 billion.

Oil majors BP and Royal Dutch Shell were among the top drags tracking weaker crude prices on the back of dour economic data from China, the world’s second-largest economy.

The domestically-focused mid-cap index eased 0.3 per cent, with travel and leisure stocks leading declines on rising uncertainty related to travel demand.

Helping limit losses, Future Plc jumped 5 per cent to the top of the mid-cap index after the British media company said it would buy Dennis Publishing for £300 million.

Europe

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index fell 0.5 per cent to 473.45, easing from a record level scaled last week.

China-exposed luxury names such as LVMH, Gucci owner Kering and Cartier maker Richemont fell between 2.1 per cent and 4.6 per cent.

French car parts supplier Faurecia jumped 12.1 per cent after it agreed to acquire a majority stake in German automotive lighting group Hella, trumping rival bidders with a €6.7 billion deal.

Hella, whose shares hit a record high last week on anticipation of a deal, slipped 3.4 per cent.

Lufthansa fell 3.6 per cent after the German finance agency unveiled plans to sell up to a quarter of its 20 per cent stake in the airline.

The broader travel and leisure index was down 1.6 per cent as the fast-spreading Delta variant of Covid-19 remained a concern, particularly as many Asian economies imposed movement restrictions.

New York

The Dow and the S&P 500 slipped from record highs on Monday as glum data from China sparked fears of slowing global growth and hurt shares of sectors that are closely linked to the health of the US economy.

Nine of the 11 major S&P sectors declined in early trading. Energy and materials shares were the top laggards, down 2.6 per cent and 1.3 per cent respectively. Freeport-McMoRan, the world’s largest publicly-traded copper producer, lost 4.5 per cent.

Tencent Music Entertainment Group fell 5.4 per cent ahead of its results after market close as Soros Fund Management dissolved its stake in the Chinese music platform.

Tesla slid 3.6 per cent after car-safety regulators opened a formal safety probe into the company’s driver-assistance system Autopilot after a series of crashes involving emergency vehicles. – Additional reporting: Reuters