Morning Report

Global stock markets falter after China data confirms economic slowdown

European shares fell on Monday from six-week highs as a slowdown in China’s economy stalled a global equity rally, but sterling rallied to the day’s highs after Prime Minister Theresa May promised to be more “flexible” with lawmakers over Brexit.
Trade in general was subdued with U.S. markets closed for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day but equity prices were hit after data showed the Chinese economy, the world’s second biggest, grew 6.4 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, matching levels last seen in early 2009 during the global financial crisis.

A pan-European equity index fell 1.3 percent, below six-week highs hit on Friday while Germany shares heavily exposed to exports to China, was 0.6 percent lower on the day.

U.S. stock market futures, which offer an indication of how Wall Street shares will next open, were down roughly half a percent

Australian dollar , often used a liquid proxy for China investments, nudged down to $0.7156.

Sterling climbed to session highs, rising above $1.29 Against the euro it touched a high of 88.07 pence, up 0.2 percent on the day, reversing earlier losses

Oil prices also fell on further evidence that economic growth in China, the world’s second largest crude consumer, was easing. Brent crude oil futures fell 0.2 percent to $62.57 a barrel.

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