Stocks fall on China data, but stronger euro zone lifts gloom

LONDON – Stocks fell in Europe and Asia on Monday after further evidence of economic slowdown in China, but modest growth in German factory activity slightly brightened the mood.

A man walks past the London Stock Exchange in the City of London October 11, 2013. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

Turkish markets surged after the Islamist-rooted AK Party won a clear majority in Sunday’s parliamentary election.

Asian shares .MIAPJ0000PUS hit their lowest level in almost three weeks after two surveys showed Chinese factory activity slowing.

The private Caixin purchasing manager’s index showed activity declined for an eighth consecutive month. An official PMI survey on Sunday showed manufacturing unexpectedly contracted in October for a third straight month.

The figures helped push down the dollar and crude oil and drove copper to a one-month low.

Chinese shares also fell on concern about the weak economy. The CSI 300 index .CSI300 of largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen closed 1.6 percent lower and the Shanghai Composite index .SSEC lost 1.7 percent.

“It’s been a volatile start to markets in China this morning following the latest data,” said Deutsche Bank strategist John Reid.

Worries over global growth, particularly in China, have rattled financial markets in recent weeks, despite steps by the Chinese authorities to stimulate the economy.

The prospect of higher U.S. interest rates, after the Federal Reserve left the door open last week to a first increase since 2006 in December, has also clouded the outlook.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst stocks index .FTEU3, which gained about 8 percent in October for its best month in more than six years, fell 0.5 percent in early trade. However, losses were pared after data showed factory activity in Germany and the euro zone as a whole marginally beat forecasts.

The index was last down 0.2 percent, with Germany’s DAX .GDAXI up 0.2 percent

Turkish stocks .XU100, which make up less than 5 percent of MSCI’s emerging market index, rose more than 5 percent after AK’s election win.

Turkey’s lira currency TRYTOM=D3 rose to its highest since late July and was last up 3.7 percent at 2.807 per dollar.

“The markets have been yearning for a period of political stability in Turkey for quite some time now. To all intents and purposes this is the best result that the markets could expect,” said Nicholas Spiro, managing director of Spiro Sovereign Strategy.

DRAGHI

The dollar was down 0.1 percent against a basket of its peers .DXY. The euro EUR= was up 0.2 percent at $1.1021 after comments at the weekend from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi were seen as not particularly dovish.

Draghi said after the ECB’s last policy meeting that the central bank could introduce new stimulus measures as soon as December and was considering cutting its deposit rate.

In an interview with the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore published on Saturday, he said it was an open question whether further stimulus was needed.

“The weekend comment from Draghi was a bit more balanced and neutral than before, which is triggering some short-covering in the euro,” said Yujiro Goto, a currency analyst at Nomura.

The yen JPY= gained 0.1 percent to 120.53 per dollar.

Euro zone bond yields rose. German 10-year yields DE10YT=TWEB rose 4.4 basis points to 0.57 percent. Italian IT10YT=TWEB and Spanish ES10YT=TWEB equivalents rose 8.7 and 8.5 bps to 1.57 and 1.77 percent respectively.

Oil prices fell in Asia on the prospect of weak Chinese demand. Brent crude LCOc1, the global benchmark, was last down 48 cents a barrel at $49.08.

Copper CMCU3 hit a one-month low of $5,086.50 a tonne before recovering to $5,126, up 0.3 percent on the day.

Gold XAU= hit a four-week low of $1,134.60 an ounce on bets the U.S. Federal Reserve would raise interest rates next month. It last traded at $1,139.25. – Reuters

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