Europe dragged down by miners and China worries
On Thursday renewed worries about the health of the global economy, spurred by an unexpected decline in Chinese exports, sent European stocks lower for a third day.
Miners fell from near a 14month high, with BHP Billiton Ltd. and Rio Tinto Group down at least 3.8%, after a report showing exports in the world’s biggest commodity consumer ended a six-month streak of increases. Carmakers also declined, sending Germany’s DAX Index down 1.1%. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 1% at 11.09am in London.
The weak data add to worries about Federal Reserve tightening of monetary policy, US elections and an Italian referendum in November, and the fallout of Britain’s secession vote. European stocks never fully recovered from a blow dealt by worries about a China slowdown at the start of the year. While the Stoxx 600 has rebounded from a two-year low in February, it remains 8.4% lower in 2016.
Concerns about corporate earnings has also weighed on equities, putting them on track for a third weekly decline. More than a 150 members in the Stoxx 600 are scheduled to report results this month, and analysts project a profit decline of 4.2% this year.
Asian stocks fell for a fifth day after Federal Reserve minutes boosted expectations US interest rates will rise by year-end and as a surprise decline in China’s exports dragged Hong Kong shares lower. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped 0.9% to 137.51 as of 4.01pm in Hong Kong, heading for its lowest close since 16 September. Japan’s Topix index closed little changed, erasing a gain of as much as 0.9% earlier after the yen rose against the dollar, sapping demand for exporters.