(Sharecast News) – European shares pared morning session losses and were flat at midday despite a downward revision of eurozone GDP and weak data from China and Germany, although worries persisted among investors over oil supply.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was down 0.1%, with all major regional bourses eking out gains and US futures showing declines. Asia and US markets were down overnight.
In economic news, eurozone GDP rose by just 0.1% in April-June, down from a previous estimate of 0.3% growth, slower than the US, which grew by 0.5% in the same quarter, and the UK which expanded by 0.2%.
More grim news came from Germany, where industrial production fell again in July as manufacturing in Europe’s largest economy continued its struggles to recover from high inflation and costs.
Production fell by 0.8% in July compared to the previous month, led by capital and consumer goods. Analysts had forecast of a 0.4 – 0.5% decline.
On a three-month comparison, production between May and July was 1.9% lower than in the previous three months, the data showed.
Industrial production (manufacturing excluding energy and construction) fell 1.8% in July compared to June, while the production of capital goods fell by 2.9% and the production of consumer goods decreased by 1.0%.
The data comes a day after July data showed that factory orders plunged by their biggest margin since the height of the Covid pandemic in 2020.
In China, exports fell for the fourth successive month in August as weak demand and persistent supply chain issues continued to dog the world’s second-largest economy in its efforts to rebound from the impacts of the Covid pandemic.
Exports fell 8.8% year on year to $284.9bn last month, according to customs data released on Thursday. The decline compared to a 14.5% fall in July.
Imports fell 7.3% last month to $216.5bn, narrowing from a 12.4% decline in July, and exceeding the expectations for a drop of 8.2%.
The country’s total trade surplus in August stood at $68.4bn, down from $80.6bn in July.
In equity news, Direct Line shares surged by 15% as the UK insurer revealed that it had slapped drivers with a 25% hike in motor premiums in an effort boost operating profit margins next year.
Shares in Melrose Industries jumped as the defence contractor lifted its annual outlook.
Reporting by Frank Prenesti for Sharecast.com