LON­DON

The Pak Banker - - INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS/SPORTS -

Com­modi­ties and China in­vestors waved a re­lieved good­bye to July on Fri­day fol­low­ing a bru­tal sell-off that has re­vived fears about the global econ­omy and over­shad­owed more en­cour­ag­ing news from the U.S. and Europe.

There were signs that the rout wasn't over yet as Chi­nese stocks - which have suf­fered their worst monthly drop in 6 years - wob­bled again, oil prices slipped fol­low­ing a more than 15 per­cent July slump and met­als from in­dus­trial cop­per to pre­cious gold hit multi-year lows.

That hap­pened de­spite a pause in the dol­lar's re­cent rise, which has been com­pound­ing the com­mod­ity pres­sure as signs build that the U.S. Fed­eral Re­serve is head­ing for its first rate hike in al­most a decade.

Euro­pean mar­kets, re­lieved that Greece looks to be stay­ing in the euro af­ter its last-minute deal this month, saw a solid start to the day to cap a more than 4 per­cent monthly rise for stocks [.EU] and the big­gest drop in Ital­ian bond yields in two years. "The main moves this week have been the con­tin­ued broad-based weak­ness in com­modi­ties," said So­ci­ete Gen­erale strate­gist Alvin Tan. "Es­sen­tially they have been on the down­trend for a month and of course we have been on a roller coaster ride in China eq­ui­ties and that has af­fected sen­ti­ment."

Euro­pean stocks were un­der­pinned by some up­beat com­pany earn­ings. Shares in UCB surged 5.2 per­cent af­ter the Bel­gian phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pany raised its 2015 fore­casts and bank BNP Paribas gained 3.5 per­cent af­ter its Q2 rev­enue rose nearly 16 per­cent.

Econ­o­mists were wait­ing for July euro zone in­fla­tion and un­em­ploy­ment data due at 0900 GMT and for in-depth U.S. wage data due later. But just as im­por­tant re­mained com­modi­ties and China. Cop­per, con­sid­ered a bell­wether for global eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity, was fac­ing a 9 per­cent monthly loss as it stum­bled to $5,238 an tonne. Gold was down over 7 per­cent on the month at $1,081.95 an ounce as it chalked up its long­est run of week-on-week falls in 16 years.

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