Europe midday: Stocks fall as German imports and exports contract, oil declines
European stocks declined as German imports and exports contracted and oil prices edged lower.
German imports fell 3.1% in October from a month earlier, compared to forecasts for a 1.7% decline, the Federal Statistics Office said. Exports dropped 0.5%, less than the 1.7% contract expected by analysts.
“While still-fragile domestic might have been holding back import growth, the drop in the oil price which began in October, is likely to have had the much bigger impact,” said Berenberg senior economist Christian Schulz.
“Consumers and companies will increasingly benefit from sharply lower prices for oil imports since the end of September this year.”
Crude fell as the head of Kuwait Petroleum said prices as likely to remain around $65 a barrel for the next six to seven months until the global economy recovers or OPEC changes its production policy.
In the UK, a report showed industrial production rose by 1.1% year-on-year in October, following a revised 0.8% increase a month earlier. Analysts had predicted a 1.8% gain.
Manufacturing production climbed 1.7% in October after a 2.2% rise the prior month, missing forecasts for a 3.2% jump.
Elsewhere in the UK, the NIESR releases its latest gross domestic product estimate at 15:00.
Investors were also feeling a little cautious following the news Greece has brought forward its presidential elections by two months, meaning they will now take place this month, potentially triggering a snap election. Greek bond yields soared while Athens’ benchmark stock index dropped over 6%.
Stateside, the focus will be on the release of NFIB’s Small Business Optimism index, which is expected to rise to 96.5 in November from 96.1 the prior month amid signs of growth in the world’s biggest economy.
Tesco’s shares tumbled after saying its full-year trading profit will not be more than £1.4bn amid an accountancy scandal in which the grocer overstated its earnings estimate in September.
A gauge of mining companies, including Rio Tinto, edged lower after JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut its forecasts for iron ore through 2017.
Deutsche Bank AG slumped following reports the German lender has been accused of using underfunded shell companies to evade US taxes.
Euronext NV slipped as Intercontinental Exchange sold the rest of its shares in the pan-European exchange.
The euro rose 0.29% to $1.2353.