Investing.com – European stocks weakened Wednesday; however, positive economic data was not enough to allay investor fears after the first heated presidential debate in the United States.
At 03:55 am ET (07:55 GMT), Germany's DAX was trading 0.6% lower, France's CAC 40 fell 0.6%, and the UK's FTSE fell 0.2%.
Retail sales in Germany rose much more-than-expected in August, up 3.1% MoM after an upwardly revised 0.2% in July, raising hopes that household spending in Europe's largest economy in the third quarter will help the region recover. German unemployment data was also unexpected: in September the unemployment rate fell to 6.3%, but it was expected to remain at 6.4%.
The UK economy also contracted less than initially estimated in the second quarter: it is at the same record decline of 19.8%, but this is still better than originally estimated when the fall in production was estimated at 20.4%. In addition, UK house prices showed the largest annual increase since 2016 in September.
China's PMI data released Wednesday morning showed that the recovery in the world's second largest economy continues to advance
This positive news has failed to overcome the caution that gripped the market after the controversial US presidential debate, during which Donald Trump again questioned whether he would agree with the election results.
In corporate news, Veolia (PA: VIE) rose 1.4% after the French water supply and treatment giant raised its stake on most of Engie's stake in Suez (PA: SEVI) to 7%. making a final push to close the deal, which will be the prelude to a complete takeover.
William Hill (LON: WMH) shares fell 0.5% after the board of directors of the British bookmaker announced that it agreed to acquire Caesars (NASDAQ: CZR) Entertainment at 272p / share at a valuation of 2.9 billion pounds ($ 3.72 billion).
Oil prices fell on Wednesday, continuing their sharp fall from the previous session due to concerns about future consumption amid the COVID-19 epidemic and ongoing problems with oil supply oversupply. Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell (LON: RDSa) said it will cut up to 9,000 jobs as it grapples with new circumstances: low prices and potentially weaker long-term demand.
Data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday showed a decline in oil inventories by 831 thousand barrels last week, compared with an expected increase of 1.4 million barrels, but that was not enough to push the market up.
Investors are now awaiting data on oil reserves from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), which will be released later in the session.
US crude oil futures fell 0.8% to $ 38.98 a barrel, while the international benchmark Brent contract fell 0.9% to $ 41.19. Both contracts closed more than 3% lower on Tuesday.
Gold futures fell 0.6% to $ 1,892 an ounce, while EUR / USD fell 0.1% to 1.1730.
Written by Peter Nurse