London Markets: London markets decline as China data stokes growth fears



London markets fell into negative territory as China industrial production figures disappointed, fueling fears of a global economic slowdown.

How did markets perform?

The U.K.’s FTSE 100 UKX, -0.70%  was at 7,352.2, down 0.2% following Thursday’s flat close.

The pound GBPUSD, -0.1420%  fell 0.2% to $1.2645, after shrinking 0.3% Thursday.

What’s moving the markets?

Economic data out of China set investors on a pessimistic path Friday, as U.S. tariffs appeared to bite. Industrial production in May grew 5% year over year, lower than the 5.5% consensus and the lowest growth figure in the category in more than 17 years. Fixed asset investment was also a disappointment, expanding 5.6% in the first five months of the year versus 6% expected.

In the U.S., more than 600 companies including Walmart Inc. and Target Corp. and 150 trade associations signed a letter urging President Donald Trump’s administration to resolve the trade dispute with China to avoid damaging the national economy.

Former U.K. foreign secretary Boris Johnson was the clear winner in Thursday’s first round of voting in the Conservative party’s leadership contest, with 114 votes from MPs. Current foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt came second with 43 votes, giving Johnson a significant lead. The next round takes place June 18.

Which stocks are active?

Signs of weaker economic growth hit European financial companies’ shares, as lower interest rates are expected to restrain lenders’ profitability. HSBC Holdings PLC HSBA, -1.03%  shares fell 0.8%, while Lloyds Banking Group PLC LLOY, -5.66%  was down 0.5% and Barclays BARC, -8.83%  declined 0.4%.

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