Weak manufacturing figures pull UK and European markets lower

The London markets slid lower as Europe and the US were both struck by weak manufacturing data.

The FTSE 100 closed 47.89 points lower at 7,360.32 at the end of trading on Tuesday.

Traders were left unimpressed after it was revealed that the UK manufacturing sector shrank for the fifth month in a row, the worst run since 2009, according to new figures.

David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: “Concerns about the health of the global manufacturing sector has hit stocks hard today.

“Traders had gotten used to the idea that manufacturing in Europe is weak, but the disappointing US ISM manufacturing report sent the message home it is a worldwide problem.

“The US manufacturing report dropped to a 10-year low, which sparked a flurry of selling in Europe as well as the US.”

Eurozone markets fared worse than the FTSE, sliding heavily as Spain, Italy and Germany all reported negative growth in their manufacturing sectors.

The German Dax decreased by 1.32% while the French Cac moved 1.41% lower.

The Dow Jones opened higher before sliding after its own manufacturing data fell below forecasts.

Sterling slumped lower as currency traders hope for more clarity over Boris Johnson’s proposals to break the current deadlock over the Northern Irish border to prevent a no-deal.

The pound was 0.37% down versus the US dollar at 1.224, and down 0.7% against the euro at 1.119.

In company news, Greggs shares dived after the high street baker told investors that Brexit will put pressure on food and labour costs.

Greggs vegan sausage roll
Greggs sales growth slowed down in the third quarter of 2019 (Greggs/PA)

The retailer also said that it expected fewer shop openings by the end of the year than previously forecast as it revealed a slowdown in sales growth in the third quarter.

Shares in the business closed 262p down at 1,828p on Tuesday.

Plumbing giant Ferguson saw shares jump higher after it revealed a hike in annual profits, as it gears up to spin off the UK business.

The group surged to the top of the FTSE 100 as shares lifted 6% after reporting an 11.5% hike in pre-tax profits to 1.3 billion US dollars (£1.1 billion) for the year to July 31.

Shares in the company ended the day up 242p at 6,186p.

Elsewhere, sofa retailer ScS tumbled after it revealed a recent sales hit from hot weather and Brexit uncertainty.

The group shed value after it bemoaned “more challenging” trading since its year end in July, with like-for-like orders down by 7.6% in the two months to September 29.

Shares in the business closed 17p lower at 220p at the end of trading.

The price of oil slipped lower despite the publication of an Opec report which showed that production in September fell to its lowest level in eight years.

The price of a barrel of Brent crude oil slumped by 1.03% to 58.78 US dollars.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Ferguson, up 242p at 6,186p, Next, up 134p at 6,320p, Imperial Brands, up 31.8p at 1,860p, and Pearson, up 12p at 750p.

The biggest fallers on the index were Hargreaves Lansdown, down 73p at 2,006p, Burberry Group, down 65p at 2,109p, Royal Bank of Scotland, down 6.1p at 201.5p, and Glencore, down 6.75p at 238p.

Read Full Story

FROM OUR PARTNERS