By Peter Nurse
Investing.com – European stock markets edged down on Wednesday as weak Chinese data and disappointing H&M sales raised concerns about the global economic recovery.
At 03:35 ET (07:35 GMT), the DAX in Germany was trading down 0.1%, the CAC 40 in France fell 0.1% and the UK FTSE 100 fell 0.1% .
Swedish clothing giant Hennes & Mauritz (ST: HMb), the world’s second-largest fashion retailer, on Wednesday reported disappointing sales growth compared to a year ago in the three months through August , lowering its stock by 3%.
“Lockdowns and restrictions continued to hamper development, particularly in Asia. However, as restrictions were relaxed, in-store sales increased in many markets while online sales continued to expand. increase, “H&M said in a statement.
The news was more encouraging at Inditex (MC: ITX), the owner of the Zara chain and the world’s largest fashion group, with sales of the Spanish conglomerate being 2% above pre-pandemic levels of 2019. Its share rose 0.3%.
Earlier Wednesday, data from China suggested that the world’s second-largest economy and the main regional growth engine hit a slowdown in August thanks to the Covid-19 outbreaks and supply disruptions.
Retail sales were up 2.5% year on year, a sharp decline from July’s 8.5% growth and the slowest pace since August 2020, while industrial production increased by 5, 3% over one year, its lowest rate since July 2020.
Back in Europe, UK consumer prices rose 3.2% year-on-year in August, up sharply from July’s 2.0%, the highest rate since March 2012, while the The annual French CPI for August was confirmed at 1.9%. Neither set of figures included the energy price spike that occurred in September, which reached new highs in the UK on Wednesday as a key interconnect cable brought in electricity from France was taken offline by fire.
There are also inflation figures from Italy next Wednesday, as well as industrial production figures from the euro zone in July.
All of this follows Tuesday’s release of a weaker-than-expected rise in US inflation for August, creating more uncertainty over the timing of the Fed’s reduction in asset purchases.
Crude prices strengthened on Wednesday, boosted by a larger-than-expected drop in US crude inventories, coupled with expectations of a substantial recovery in demand as countries bring the recent Covid-19 outbreak under control.
American Petroleum Institute crude oil supply data released Tuesday night showed a sizable 5.4 million barrels draw last week after Hurricane Ida shut down many refineries and production offshore drilling.
Investors are now awaiting crude oil supply data from the US Energy Information Administration, due later today, for confirmation.
Additionally, the International Energy Agency predicted on Tuesday that the deployment of the Covid-19 vaccine could lead to an economic rebound, leading to a surge in demand of 1.6 million barrels per day next month, with a growth continues until the end of the year.
At 3.35am ET, U.S. crude futures were trading 1% to $ 71.19 per barrel, while the Brent contract was up 1% to $ 74.31.
Additionally, gold futures fell 0.2% to $ 1,802.70 / oz, while EUR / USD traded up 0.1% to 1.1817.
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