Markets Are In The Red

France boats canalWikimedia CommonsThe Maréchal de Lattre de Tassigny Embankment and the Canal of La Peyrade from the Louis Pasteur Embankment. Sète, Hérault, France.

Markets are down early in Europe’s trading session.

Britain’s FTSE 100 is down 0.2%.

France’s CAC 40 is down 0.4%.

Germany’s DAX is down 0.6%.

Spain’s IBEX is down 0.2%.

This follows a 231 point sell-off in the the Dow Jones Industrial Average on Thursday.

This has been a challenging week thanks to disappointing economic data out of China.

“The much weaker-than-expected Jan-Feb activity data highlights the impossible task of pushing for reforms while maintaining stable growth in 2014,” said Barclays’ China economist Adam Steinberg. “The Jan-Feb data all missed expectations by a wide margin. We think this reflects the negative impact from the ongoing reforms – cutting overcapacity and controlling pollution, anti-graft and broadened austerity measures to curb public spending and grey income, regulating shadow bank lending and allowing credit defaults, and controlling local government debt.”

Later today, we’ll get a preliminary March reading of U.S. consumer confidence from the University of Michigan. Economists estimate this index ticked up to 82.0 from 81.6 in February.

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