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China slips as US hits record high

Markets slip as eyes focus on Spain and EU summit

London Stock ExchangeLondon’s leading stock index closed just 19.8 points lower as investors kept an eye on developments in Spain and the first day of the EU summit.

The FTSE 100 ended the session 0.26% lower at 7,523.04.

Spain is to suspend Catalonia’s autonomy from Saturday as the region’s leader threatens to declare independence.

The government said ministers would meet to activate Article 155 of the constitution, allowing it to take over running of the region.

Catalonia’s leader said the region’s parliament would vote on independence if Spain continued “repression”.

Catalans voted to secede in a referendum which the Madrid government deemed illegal.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has opened down but remains above the 23,000 level after another record-breaking run this week.

The US index fell 64.66 points to 23,092.94. The S&P 500 declined 6.92 points to 2,554.34.

The Dow Jones has opened at a record high 51 times this year, according to Bloomberg. For the S&P, it has been 47 times.

The Nasdaq began trading down 32.29 points at 6,591.93.

The pound has clawed back a little ground against the dollar but is still trading 0.24% down at $1.31740.

At the EU summit there seems to be little sign of compromise from either side, with the future of EU nationals top of the agenda.

Asian stocks pulled back from decade highs overnight following a record close on Wall Street and in Frankfurt as world markets marked the 30th anniversary of the Black Monday crash.

Chinese equities slipped as growth in the world’s second largest economy slowed slightly in the third quarter.

Growth cooled slightly to 6.8% in the third quarter from a year earlier, from the second quarter’s 6.9%, though it had been predicted and remains above the government target of 6.5%.

Japan’s Nikkei rose to a fresh 21-year high and was poised for its 13th straight session of gains. It’s the Nikkei’s longest winning streak since 1988.

In the US a solid earnings season is coinciding with higher chances of another Federal Reserve interest rate increase by the year end. More than 80% of the 52 members of the S&P 500 Index that have already reported earnings for the most recent quarter beat analysts’ forecasts.

In commodities, Brent crude oil futures dipped 0.1% to $58.11 a barrel. Brent crude has been at a three-week high of $58.54 a barrel on tensions in Iraq and Iran.

Markets are recalling the events of 19 October 1987 when US stocks fell 22% in a day and other markets collapsed in a wave of panic selling.

With markets at new peaks there are some predictions that another correction may be in the offing.



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