European stocks are diving

Equities across Europe are taking a pounding on Thursday as investors react to a disappointing set of economic data out of China overnight, and a slump in the price of oil.

All of the continent’s major stock indexes are deep in negative territory in early trade, with most losing more than 1% of their value so far on what looks to be a so-called “risk-off” day in the financial markets.

As of 8.30 a.m. BST (3.20 a.m. ET) the biggest drop from Europe’s major markets comes from Italy’s FTSE MIB. The MIB has dropped almost 1.4% on the day, dragged lower by financial services and telecoms stocks.

Here’s how the MIB looks so far:

In Britain, the FTSE 100 is comparatively resilient so far on Thursday, falling just 0.72%. Significantly, however, the index has once again dropped below the psychologically important 7,000 point mark, having hit an all-time intraday high during trading earlier in the week, boosted by the continued slump in the pound.

The pound’s fall on Thursday is providing some support for the FTSE, although mining stocks are dragging the index lower thanks to oil’s almost 1% fall so far on Thursday.

Here’s how the FTSE looks:

The scoreboard across the whole Europe makes for bleak reading on the day. Check it out below:

Commenting on the market movements Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at FXTM said (emphasis ours):

“A 10% fall in Chinese exports in September does not only provide a warning signal that the world’s second largest economy is losing momentum, but also suggests a fragile global demand, specifically from developed economies which comes in line with the World Trade Organisation’s outlook that global trade growth is slowing. Imports also dropped by 1.9% versus expectation of a 1% rise, indicating that demand for key commodities that played a role in the housing boom is also slowing.

“Oil prices came under pressure, falling for a third straight day after API data showed crude inventories rose by 2.7 million barrels last week. This is the first fall in U.S. stockpiles in 6 weeks and official data due later today from EIA might show a similar pattern after more than 25 million barrels were withdrawn in the past 5 weeks.”

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