London close: Stocks weaker after China disappointment

by | Jul 17, 2023

(Sharecast News) – London’s stock markets closed in negative territory on Monday, as disappointing growth figures from China affected major miners.
The FTSE 100 index declined 0.38% to close at 7,406.42, while the FTSE 250 faced a larger slump of 0.87% to end the session at 18,404.43.

On the currency front, sterling was last down 0.11% on the dollar to trade at $1.3079, while it fell 0.15% against the euro to change hands at €1.1639.

“Traders looking for a catalysts to drive movement will be spoiled for choice from tomorrow, thanks to more earnings from the banking sector,” said IG chief market analyst Chris Beauchamp.

“Equity markets have come a long way over the past half-year, and the optimists are hoping for a solid earnings season all round, this being their best bet for a continuation of the gains in stocks seen so far this year.”

July sees house price dip and slower growth in China, mixed signals in US factory sector

In economic news, according to a key industry survey house prices in the UK experienced a slight downturn in July.

Rightmove’s house price index highlighted a 0.2% dip in July, marking a change from the 0.0% growth observed in June.

The average asking price now stood at £371,907, reflecting modest annual growth of 0.5% since July last year, and the slowest rate of growth witnessed since November 2019.

Rising mortgage costs and increasing challenges related to buyer affordability were blamed for the cooling trend, with new sellers are moderating their pricing expectations.

The number of agreed sales had dropped by 12% compared to the numbers reported in July 2019.

“The interest rate brakes being applied more strongly to slow the economy are now beginning to bite in the housing market,” said Tim Bannister, director of property science at Rightmove.

“While prices and sales bounced back this year much more strongly than most expected, the unexpectedly stubborn inflation figures and the surprise of further mortgage rate rises, when many felt they had stablished, have contributed to the fall in prices and number of sales agreed.”

Elsewhere, China’s economy fell short of expectations in fresh data, with GDP growing 6.3% in the second quarter year-on-year, compared to an expected 7.3%.

Despite the slower-than-expected growth, Fu Linghui, spokesperson for the National Bureau of Statistics, expressed confidence in meeting the full-year growth target of 5% for 2023.

In other key indicators from China, retail sales growth for June was slightly below expectations at 3.1%, and the unemployment rate for young people aged between 16 and 24 reached a record 21.3% in June.

However, industrial production in June saw a 4.4% increase, surpassing the 2.7% forecast.

Fixed asset investment also beat predictions, rising by 3.8% in the first half of the year.

The real estate sector experienced a downturn in investment, while manufacturing investment showed steady growth and infrastructure investment growth decelerated.

Across the pond, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s ‘Empire State’ index demonstrated a smaller-than-anticipated softening in factory sector activity in July.

The index slipped from 6.6 in June to 1.1 in July, defying economists’ projections of a decline to -3.4.

Encouragingly, the sub-index for new orders saw a marginal increase, and there was a dip in delivery times.

Additionally, the prices paid by firms eased, and the employment sub-index showed signs of improvement.

Mining stocks suffer; Aston Martin and Johnson Matthey on the rise

On London’s equity markets, prominent mining stocks were among the day’s worst performers, with Anglo American down by 2.49%, Antofagasta by 2.47%, Glencore by 2.82%, and Rio Tinto Group by 2.42%.

The downward trend came on the back of the disappointing growth figures from China, a significant consumer of global commodities.

In the gambling sector, Entain dropped 1.61% after it announced the acquisition of US-based Angstrom Sports for £81m, plus contingent payments up to a maximum of £122m.

Angstrom Sports is a specialist provider of next-generation sports modelling, forecasting, and data analytics.

On the upside, Johnson Matthey increased 0.66% following an upgrade to ‘buy’ from ‘hold’ at Deutsche Bank.

Luxury car manufacturer Aston Martin Lagonda rallied 3.65% after Barclays raised its price target for the shares from 300p to 375p.

Finally, Haleon managed gains of 0.78% after a licensing deal was signed between the GSK spinoff and erectile dysfunction treatment developer Futura Medical.

Reporting by Josh White for

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,406.42 -0.38%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 18,404.43 -0.87%
techMARK (TASX) 4,348.41 -0.90%

FTSE 100 – Risers

Spirax-Sarco Engineering (SPX) 10,675.00p 2.10%
Rentokil Initial (RTO) 623.20p 1.56%
NATWEST GROUP (NWG) 246.60p 1.48%
Compass Group (CPG) 2,124.00p 1.48%
Pershing Square Holdings Ltd NPV (PSH) 2,910.00p 1.11%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 44.84p 1.08%
HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 617.90p 0.78%
Haleon (HLN) 316.70p 0.78%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 500.00p 0.73%
Unilever (ULVR) 4,019.50p 0.68%

FTSE 100 – Fallers

Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 2,330.00p -4.19%
Flutter Entertainment (CDI) (FLTR) 15,435.00p -3.44%
Glencore (GLEN) 453.65p -2.82%
Anglo American (AAL) 2,290.50p -2.49%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,499.00p -2.47%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 5,086.00p -2.42%
Unite Group (UTG) 909.50p -2.26%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 581.00p -2.25%
RS Group (RS1) 734.60p -1.95%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 2,088.00p -1.79%

FTSE 250 – Risers

Bakkavor Group (BAKK) 98.40p 4.46%
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 329.40p 3.65%
Babcock International Group (BAB) 305.60p 2.55%
Domino’s Pizza Group (DOM) 315.20p 2.27%
Virgin Money UK (VMUK) 169.00p 1.84%
BBGI Global Infrastructure S.A. NPV (DI) (BBGI) 132.40p 1.69%
Investec (INVP) 466.50p 1.61%
Barr (A.G.) (BAG) 463.00p 1.31%
IP Group (IPO) 57.70p 0.87%
Edinburgh Worldwide Inv Trust (EWI) 143.40p 0.84%

FTSE 250 – Fallers

Hammerson (HMSO) 23.88p -4.48%
Warehouse Reit (WHR) 80.70p -4.27%
Helios Towers (HTWS) 85.90p -3.81%
Me Group International (MEGP) 163.20p -3.66%
Capita (CPI) 27.82p -3.47%
Balanced Commercial Property Trust Limited (BCPT) 67.30p -3.30%
Shaftesbury Capital (SHC) 112.20p -3.19%
JTC (JTC) 714.50p -3.18%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 87.30p -3.16%
Derwent London (DLN) 2,036.00p -3.14%

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