London stock market wins China boost

London stock market wins China boost

Logo of the London Stock Exchange

LONDON: London's stock market rebounded on Monday (Jul 17), with miners buoyed by solid Chinese economic growth figures, while eurozone indices were steady to slightly lower.

Asia equities mostly increased in value following another record close on Wall Street before the weekend.

Frankfurt ended the day 0.35 per cent lower as investors appeared to be avoiding risk before a European Central Bank (ECB) meeting on Thursday, while Paris closed flat.

London's commodities-heavy FTSE 100 index however rebounded 0.35 per cent as strong Chinese growth data bolstered demand hopes from the world's leading consumer of many raw materials.

Shares in mining giants Anglo American and Glencore closed more than one percent higher, while Fresnillo jumped two percent in value.

"The FTSE remained far and away Monday's best performer ... and is just about keeping its head above 7,400, thanks to the dual boosts of some China-inspired gains in the commodity sector and a Brexit-dragged showing from sterling, which is down between 0.1-0.2% against the dollar," said Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell.

The world's number two economy expanded an annualised 6.9 per cent in the second quarter, beating forecasts in an AFP survey, and indicating it is stabilising after a long slowdown. The reading was the same as the previous three months.

XTB analyst David Cheetham however sounded a note of caution on China.

"Whilst there remains a high degree of scepticism over the accuracy of data points from the Far East, the initial reaction has been positive and attracted buyers into London-listed stocks with exposure to China," he said.

China is trying to shift from an economy reliant on state investment to one powered by consumer spending.

Its leaders are also attempting to clamp down on bad debt, which analysts fear could spark a financial crisis if not resolved.

US markets have begun the week little changed following Friday's record high on the Dow and the S&P 500.

NEW BOSS LIFTS ITV

In London, a star performer on Monday was British independent television channel ITV whose shares closed up 1.31 per cent to 177.30 pence.

ITV said EasyJet boss Carolyn McCall would become its chief executive from next year.

EasyJet stock gained 1.42 per cent to close at 1,431 pence.

"McCall, who has built and led the management team that has transformed EasyJet's performance in the past seven years, sees amazing opportunities for ITV and will take up her role there in early January," noted Russ Mould, investment director at stockbroker AJ Bell.

Back in Asia, Shanghai equities pared steep early losses thanks to the stronger than expected growth figures.

But Shanghai stocks still fell 1.4 per cent after a top-level government policy-setting conference at the weekend promised an extended crackdown on risks in the financial system.

The country's second exchange in Shenzhen dived 4.3 per cent while the ChiNext gauge, a Nasdaq-style index in Shenzhen, plunged 5.1 per cent to a near 30-month low.

Since April, China has launched an aggressive crackdown on risky lending as warnings mounted over a looming debt crisis due to runaway credit.

Key figures around 2100 GMT:

New York - DOW: DOWN less than 0.1 per cent at 21,629.72 (close)
New York - S&P 500: DOWN less than 0.1 per cent at 2,459.14 (close)
New York - Nasdaq: UP less than 0.1 per cent at 6,314.43 (close)

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.4 per cent at 7,404.13 (close)
Frankfurt - DAX 30: DOWN 0.4 per cent at 12,587.16 (close)
Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 0.1 per cent at 5,230.17
EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.27 per cent at 3,516.35

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 0.3 per cent at 26,470.58 (close)
Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 1.4 per cent at 3,176.46 (close)
Tokyo - Nikkei 225: Closed for public holiday

Euro/dollar: UP at US$1.1479 from US$1.1470
Pound/dollar: DOWN at US$1.3057 from US$1.3098
Dollar/yen: UP at 112.61 yen from 112.53

Oil - Brent North Sea: DOWN 49 cents at US$48.42 per barrel
Oil - West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 52 cents at US$46.02 per barrel

Source: AFP/de

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