Prime Minister Theresa May’s empty-handed return from her whistle-stop charm offensive around the EU to drum up support for her Brexit deal and weak Chinese economic data are weighing heavily on the markets.
The FTSE and Pound were both down after EU leaders blocked a time limit for the Irish back-stop leaving her unlikely to push a deal through at Westminster.
China’s poor data also rocked the markets, with growth failing to meet expectations.
The figures should the economy expanded by 5.4% – but was lagging predictions of 5.9%. Sales in shops were also down from the expected 8.8% increase to 8.1%, falling to the lowest rate of growth since 2003.
Trade war concerns may trigger more shocks
Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: “There is some concern that the impact of the US/China trade war has yet to be properly felt, suggesting that China’s economic data could be in for more shocks in early 2019 unless the countries secure a permanent truce.”
Elsewhere, a new report found economic growth in the Eurozone had slowed to the slowest rate in almost five years.
IHS Markit – the firm compiling the data – said: “Companies are worried about the global economic and political climate, with trade wars and Brexit adding to increased political tensions within the euro area. The surveys also point to further signs that the struggling autos sector continued to act as a drag on the region’s economy.”
|Exchange||% change||Value||24h Movement|
Pound v Major Currencies
|% change||£1 buys||24h Change|
|GBP v Euro/EUR||-0.16%||€ 1.11||-0.002|
|GBP v Yen/JPY||-0.82%||¥142.6550||-1.18|
|GBP v USD/USD||-0.73%||$1.2565||-0.009|