Investment market update
UK equities are expected to open lower this morning, after disappointing Chinese manufacturing data was announced overnight.
Asian stocks were down, led by losses in technology and mining shares following the surprise drop in a Chinese manufacturing gauge.
US stocks fell amid disappointing earnings from Caterpillar Inc. to 3M Co. and as copper’s fall to a two-week low hit mining shares.
UK stocks erased an earlier rally to fall for a third day, as declining shares of BP Plc and Aberdeen Asset Management Plc weighed on the FTSE 100 Index. BP slumped for a seventh day, its longest losing streak this year, tracking oil and gas stocks. Aberdeen retreated 7.6% after reporting about $15.5 billion of quarterly net outflows.
A private gauge of Chinese manufacturing unexpectedly fell to the lowest in 15 months. This, coupled with a slump in property investment and the recent stock market falls, puts pressure on authorities to do more to meet Premier Li Keqiang’s 2015 growth target of about 7%.
Pearson Plc, the education company that is selling the Financial Times to Japanese publisher Nikkei Inc., reported a decline in first-half earnings amid slowing US textbook demand. Operating profit adjusted for some items fell to £72 million from £73 million a year earlier. Sales rose 5% to £2.16 billion.
Copper used in pipes and wires is heading for a 4.6% drop this week after falling to its lowest price since 2009. This was its worst loss since January. Prices of commodities from oil to metals and crops have fallen on rising supply and a stronger dollar, which makes raw materials more expensive in other currencies.
Amazon.com Inc. reported a surprise second-quarter profit on top of sales that beat analysts’ estimates. Shares in Amazon jumped as much as 19% after it reported Thursday that revenue rose 20% to $23.2 billion, helped by a fast-growing cloud-computing business and initiatives to lure more customers.
A report today showed UK retail sales unexpectedly declined in June on a wide range of goods including food, furniture, sporting equipment and jewellery.