European Markets Settle Lower On Growth Worries, Brexit Concerns


(RTTNews.com) - European stocks drifted lower on Monday as traders chose to exit counters after disappointing trade data from China raised fresh concerns about global economic growth.

Markets were also weighed down by concerns surrounding the ongoing U.S. government shutdown.

Meanwhile, markets were looking ahead to the vote on British Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal on Tuesday. It is widely expected that May's Brexit proposal will face a certain defeat.

The pan-European STOXX 600 settled lower by 0.61% at 347.08, after closing with a marginal 0.1% gain on Friday.

The U.K.'sFTSE finished 0.91% down and Switzerland's SMI ended lower by 0.79%. Germany's DAX closed 0.3% down, while France's CAC 40 ended with a loss of 0.39%.

On Friday, the French CAC 40 Index fell by 0.5%, the U.K.'sFTSE 100 Index and the German DAX Index dropped by 0.4% and 0.3%, respectively.

Greece, Italy, Norway, Poland, Spain and Sweden, all ended in negative territory, with their benchmark indices losing between 0.3% and 1%. Turkey's BIST 100 bucked the trend and ended up 0.4%.

In Denmark, shares of Pandora plunged sharply following a rating downgrade of the stock by Morgan Stanley.

In economic news from Eurozone, a preliminary report from the statistical office Eurostat showed Eurozone's industrial production decreased at a faster-than-expected pace in November. Industrial production decreased a seasonally adjusted 1.7% from October, when it edged up 0.1%, revised from 0.2%. Economists had expected a 1.5% slump.

On a year-on-year basis, industrial production fell a calendar adjusted 3.3% in November after a 1.2% increase. Economists had predicted a 2.1% slump.

Data released by Destatis showed Germany's wholesale prices rose at a slower pace in December. The data showed wholesale price inflation slowed to 2.5% in the month, from 3.5% in November.

The wholesale price growth was largely influenced by a 10.9% surge in prices for petroleum products. The prices for cereals, raw tobacco, seeds and animal feed rose by 17.6% each, the report said.

Month-on-month, wholesale prices fell 1.2% after gaining 0.2% in November. For the whole year 2018, wholesale prices increased 2.7%.

In Asian economic news, China's exports and imports in December declined at the worst rates in two years, adding to evidence of a rapid slowdown in the economy amid the trade war with the US and weakening global activity.

Exports dropped 4.4% year-on-year in December, figures from the General Administration of Customs showed on Monday. That was in contrast to the 3% gain economists had predicted. Imports decreased 7.6% from a year ago, defying expectations for a 5% rise.

Both exports and imports outcome was the worst since 2016. In December, the trade surplus was $57.1 billion.


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