Markets

European markets close lower following weak manufacturing data; Greggs down 12%

Key Points
  • Multiple news outlets, including CNBC, reported on Friday that the White House was in the early stages of weighing restrictions on U.S. investments in China.
  • Reports of White House discussion on restrictions to U.S.-China investments come as the administration looks for additional levers of influence in trade talks, which resume next week in Washington.

European stocks reversed early gains to close lower on Tuesday after a weak set of economic numbers out of the U.S. and the euro zone.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was provisionally down 1.2% at the closing bell, financial services falling 1.6% to lead losses while every sector and all major bourses were in the red.

The final reading of Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) manufacturing data for the euro zone in September came in at 45.7, 0.1 higher than the flash estimate but still hitting its lowest level since October 2012. Final new orders came in at 43.4, again better than the flash estimate but also the lowest since October 2012. Germany led the bloc's weakness, its PMI coming in at 41.7.

Data for September from Spain and Italy was also below 50, indicating a broader contraction. The annual rate of inflation for the euro zone then added to the grim outlook, falling to 0.9% in September, its lowest in almost three years.

Following that, U.S. PMI data released by the Institute for Supply Management on Tuesday showed that American manufacturing had slumped to its lowest level in more than 10 years in September. The survey marked the second consecutive month of contraction, the latest sign that the Sino-U.S. trade war was taking a toll on the U.S. economy.

Within about an hour of the numbers hitting newswires, U.S. President Donald Trump took to Twitter, laying the blame at the "pathetic" Federal Reserve.

Stocks on Wall Street traded lower on Tuesday on the back of the data, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down around 0.6%.

Positive moves in early trade had come after White House trade adviser Peter Navarro dismissed reports that President Donald Trump's administration was considering delisting Chinese companies from U.S. stock exchanges as "fake news."

Multiple news outlets, including CNBC, reported on Friday that the White House was in the early stages of weighing restrictions on U.S. investments in China.

Reports of White House discussion on restrictions to U.S.-China investments come as the administration looks for additional levers of influence in trade talks, which resume next week in Washington.

The world's two largest economies have imposed tariffs on billions of dollars' worth of one another's goods since the start of 2018, battering financial markets and souring business and consumer sentiment.

European politics will be back in focus, with U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson set to speak at the Conservative Party Conference, along with a formal proposal on the British government's Brexit plans. Johnson has defended his government's proposals for an amended Brexit deal after extracts of the plan were reported by media outlets and criticized by the Republic of Ireland.

In Asia, Chinese financial markets will be shut for one week, starting Tuesday, as Beijing marks 70 years since the founding of the People's Republic of China.

Hong Kong protests descended into violence on Tuesday after police shot a protester and fired tear gas as demonstrators threw gas bombs.

In corporate news, Credit Suisse COO Pierre-Olivier Bouee resigned after an internal investigation into surveillance determined that he acted alone in ordering spying on former wealth management boss Iqbal Khan. The Swiss lender's shares were nearly 3% lower following the news.

In terms of individual stocks, plumbing parts distributor Ferguson saw its shares rise 4% after reporting a better-than-expected 7% rise in full-year profit, while shares of British baker Greggs slid 12.6% after reporting slower sales growth for the last year.

— CNBC's Thomas Franck and Yun Li contributed to this report.