Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.
There are signs of economic weakness in China this morning, and Europe may soon add to the Halloween gloom.
Chines factory activity shrank for the sixth straight month in October, new official figures show.
The official Chinese Purchasing Managers Survey for the manufacturing industry, released overnight, fell to just 49.3, from 49.8. This is the sixth month running in which the factory PMI has slipped below the 50-point mark.
It’s another sign that China’s economy has weakened, after more than a year of trade conflict.
As Stephen Innes of Axitrader puts it:
The data was horrible as trade tensions, and a slow recovery in domestic demand continued to weigh on the manufacturing sector.
Last night, the US Federal Reserve cited the US-China trade war as a key risk to America’s economic expansion, as it cut interest rates for the third time this year.
This pushed Wall Street to fresh record highs at the close of trading, as we blogged last night:
We also learned yesterday that America’s economy slowed slightly in the last quarter, to an annualised rate of 1.9% (or almost 0.5% quarter-on-quarter).
Europe would love such a performance, though. Eurozone growth data, due this morning, may show that growth slowed to just 0.1% in July-September, from 0.2% in April-June.
Although France grew by 0.3%, there are fears that a German recession and a stagnating Italian economy is holding the eurozone back. We find out at 10am.
The markets are expected to be calm this morning, as investors digest last night’s Fed cut, and strong results from two tech giants.
Apple posted record revenues for the last quarter, raking in $64bn, driven by strong demand for the iPhone and for wearable technology.
Facebook also best forecasts, with revenues surging 29%. Despite steady criticism of the social media giant, it grew its monthly used base by 1.65% to 2.45 billion.
In the City, Lloyds Banking Group has taken yet another PPI provision of £1.8bn, and oil giant Shell has posted a 15% drop in profits due to the lower crude price (more on both stories shortly…)
- 10am GMT: Eurozone inflation for October
- 10am GMT: Eurozone third-quarter GDP (first estimate)
- 11am GMT: Italian third-quarter GDP
- 12.30pm GMT: Canadian GDP report for August