FTSE Suffers on China Difficulties

Friday, 14th December 2018

Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon were two of the weakest performers, shedding 4% and 3.5% respectively. Berkeley Group slipped by 2.2 percent. In the mining industry, Glencore shed 3.4 percent, while rival Antofagasta shed 3.3%.

Troublesome data coming out of China has added to an already turbulent environment, dragging down the Asian and European markets. China’s industrial production has grown by 5.4%, lower than the expected 5.9%. Retail sales have increased by 8.1%, which makes for the weakest rate of advancement in the last 15 years. The consensus forecast for retail growth had been much higher at 8.8%.

There are fears that the effects of the US/China trade war are yet to be felt, and that China’s economic data could continue to disappoint leading into 2019 unless the two countries are able to come to a truce.

The FTSE 100 looks set to end a difficult week in the red, and some market commentators fear that the poor mood for the markets could continue into the new year. One investor called the UK equity market ‘uninvestible’, fearing that if a general election is called a Labour win could add to the struggles that are already ongoing. The FTSE 100 is down by 10% so far this year, and over the course of trade on Friday morning the downward trend continued, with only seven companies opening strongly.

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