The European markets are in negative territory in afternoon trading Friday, after data from China showed that export and import growth slowed more than expected in July. The Asian markets also closed lower on the Chinese data.
Exports grew just 1 percent year-on-year in July, decelerating from the 11.3 percent growth reported for June, the latest figures from China's General Administration of Customs showed. Overseas purchases increased at a pace of 4.7 percent year-on-year compared to a 6.3 percent rise in June.
Closer home, the U.K.'s output price inflation eased to 1.7 percent in July from a revised 2 percent in June, the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics showed.
A report released by French statistical office INSEE showed that French industrial output remained unchanged in June from the previous month. Manufacturing output was up merely 0.1 percent.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is falling 0.84 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is losing 0.49 percent.
The German DAX is falling 0.88 percent and the French CAC 40 is losing 1.02 percent. The UK's FTSE 100 is dropping 0.38 percent and Switzerland's SMI is down 0.41 percent.
In Frankfurt, Commerzbank is losing 2.4 percent after Deutsche Bank cut its rating on the stock. Deutsche Bank is falling 0.2 percent.
Hannover Re reported a marginal increase in second-quarter operating profit that missed analysts' consensus estimates. The stock is falling 3.5 percent.
Fraport is falling 1.3 percent. The owner and operator of Frankfurt Airport reported growth in passenger traffic at all its airports.
Steel giant ThyssenKrupp reported a decline in its third-quarter earnings, but profit and sales beat analysts' estimates. The stock is surging 6 percent.
Deutz is gaining 1.3 percent. UBS raised the stock to "Neutral" from "Sell."
SMA Solar is advancing 1.5 percent on a positive recommendation from UBS.
In Paris, Peugeot is down 1.1 percent while Renault is losing 0.6 percent.
Alcatel Lucent is climbing 3.6 percent, thus leading the gainers.
Societe Generale is gaining 1.5 percent and Credit Agricole is up 0.5 percent. BNP Paribas is losing modestly.
In London, Bunzl is declining 3.7 percent, reportedly on a broker downgrade.
Prudential is losing around 1 percent after reporting first-half results.
Barclays is climbing 3.4 percent after announcing a new chairman. Standard Chartered is falling 1.4 percent even though HSBC raised its rating on the stock.
Aspo is falling 3.3 percent in Helsinki. The logistics firm said its operating profit for the year would fall significantly and earnings per share would fall slightly from 2011.
Schibsted is surging 12 percent in Oslo after the media group reported second-quarter results.
Across Asia/Pacific, Australia's All Ordinaries fell 0.6 percent, China's Shanghai Composite Index slid 0.2 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng retreated 0.7 percent. Japan's Nikkei 225 lost about 1 percent.
In the U.S., futures point to a lower open on Wall Street. In the previous session, the major averages remained stuck near the unchanged line throughout the session and ended mixed. The Dow edged down 0.1 percent, while the Nasdaq rose 0.3 percent and the S&P 500 crept up less than a tenth of a percent.
In the commodity space, crude for September delivery is losing $1.26 to $92.10 per barrel and December gold is falling $8.9 to $1611.3 a troy ounce.
by RTT Staff Writer
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