LONDON — European stocks snapped a 10-day winning streak Monday, as investors reacted to weaker-than-anticipated economic data and rising geopolitical tensions.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed down 0.5%, with almost all sectors and major bourses in negative territory. Retail shares led the losses, falling 2.5%.
Shares in Asia-Pacific dipped on Monday as China recorded a surprisingly sharp slowdown last month. Figures on July retail sales, industrial production and fixed asset investment all missed forecasts.
China’s National Bureau of Statistics cited the impact of a range of factors, including growing external uncertainties, the ongoing Covid-19 epidemic and flooding. The bureau added that the “economic recovery is still unstable and uneven.”
On Wall Street, the major U.S. stock indexes all dipped into the red amid fears of slowing global growth.
Meanwhile, market participants closely monitored the potential geopolitical implications of the sudden collapse of the Afghanistan government. Taliban insurgents over the weekend pushed their frontlines into the capital city of Kabul after a succession of shocking battlefield reversals, spurred by the exodus of U.S. and coalition forces.
It marks a stunning end to the two-decade Western campaign in which the U.S. and its allies sought to transform the country.
European stocks had closed out a tenth consecutive positive trading session on Friday, shortly after MSCI’s aggregate gauge of global stock markets hit a new record high. Stocks on Wall Street also notched record highs last week even as concerns over the highly transmissible delta Covid variant persisted.
Looking at individual companies, French car parts suppliers Faurecia surged to the top of the benchmark on Monday. It comes after the Paris-listed company agreed to buy a majority stake in Germany’s Hella for 6.7 billion euros ($7.9 billion) over the weekend. Shares of Faurecia jumped over 12% on the news.
Meanwhile, German carrier Lufthansa slipped toward the bottom of the index. Germany’s finance agency said on Monday that the country plans to sell up to a quarter of its 20% stake in the coming weeks following positive developments at the bailed-out airline, Reuters reported. Shares of Lufthansa fell 3.6%.