London’s FTSE 100 kicked off the week in muted style as more signs of the global economy stalling emerged today.
The capital’s premier index edged 0.04 per cent higher to 7,503.87 points, while the domestically-focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index, which is more aligned with the health of the UK economy, jumped 0.12 per cent to 20,362.80 points.
A string of new figures released today revealed China’s economy is slumping under the weight of lawmakers persisting with a tough crackdown on the virus using blunt restrictions on social life, known as Beijing’s “zero-Covid” policy.
Youth hiring, consumer spending, business investment and factory output are all softening as a result of uncertainty over how Beijing will respond to future outbreaks of the virus.
China’s central bank launched a surprise 0.1 percentage point interest rate cut to support the country’s economy.
Worsening Chinese demand will ripple throughout the global economy, likely hitting countries’ export income.
“This has obvious implications for global growth and, in particular commodities demand, and in this context it was no surprise to see shares in the big mining firms slip a little in early trading,” Danni Hewson, financial analyst at AJ Bell, said.
FTSE 100-listed commodities giants held back the index’s gains.
Miners Anglo American, Rio Tinto and Glencore all slid more than 1.65 per cent.