Markets Steady Despite German Factory Data Shock


Stocks and shares are holding steady across Europe despite weak economic data from Germany.

The manufacturing data did nothing to quell fears that the brakes have been put on the Eurozone’s largest economy as orders at the factory gates are falling.

A slight rise was expected, but instead a 1.6% decline was served up in December, giving a year-on-year drop of 7%.

Claus Vistesen, chief eurozone economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said: “Export orders fell for the second month running. Across sectors, weakness in capital and intermediate goods were the primary drivers, especially on the export side to non-eurozone economies.

“By contrast, new orders for consumer goods rebounded strongly across the board, pointing to a revival in the auto sector towards the end of the year.

“The year-over-year rate was depressed by base effects from a very strong finish to the year in 2017, but the message remains clear: German manufacturing is suffering, especially in intermediate goods, where the three-month rolling change slipped further in December.”

The age of AI is dawning on business

The company called in by the British government to roll out artificial intelligence applications across Westminster believes the hype around AI will subside when companies realise harnessing the technology is “so obviously” the right way to do things.

Marc Warner, chief executive and co-founder ASI Data Science, announced the company was rebranding as Faculty.

“In the early days of databases, marketing companies would tell people they were marketing companies ‘with a database’, because it was a new exciting innovative thing,“ he said.

Warner believes applying AI to business will be one of the largest strides forward in the decades to come.

AI covers a range of technologies such as machine learning, reasoning and problem solving.

Market data

Exchange% changeValueMovement
FTSE 100-0.06%7173.09-4.28
FTSE 2500.41%19073.4177.39
New York
Dow Jones-0.08%25390.3-21.22
BSE Sensex0.98%36975.23358.42
Hong Kong
Hang Seng0.21%27930.7459.47
Shanghai Composite1.30%2,618.2333.61


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