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European Stocks Lower; ArcelorMIttal Hit Hard by Falling Ore Prices

Stock MarketsSep 20, 2021 09:06
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© Reuters.

By Peter Nurse 

Investing.com - European stock markets traded sharply lower Monday amid concerns about the health of property giant China Evergrande Group and ahead of the week’s crucial Federal Reserve meeting.

At 3:40 AM ET (0840 GMT), the DAX in Germany traded 2% lower, following an increase in the number of constituents to 40 from 30, while the CAC 40 in France fell 1.9% and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 dropped 1.3%.

This week sees a number of central banks hold policy-setting meetings, including the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan and the Swiss National Bank, but the focus will be on the Federal Reserve, with the U.S. central bank potentially taking another step toward tapering at its two-day meeting, starting on Tuesday.

Investors will be looking to see if the Fed judges the U.S. economy to be sufficiently strong for it to start reducing the massive amount of monetary support it has provided during the pandemic, though the consensus is for an actual announcement to be delayed until the November or December meetings.

Back in Europe, sliding commodity prices have hit energy and mining stocks hard, with Royal Dutch Shell (LON:RDSa) stock down 1.2%, TotalEnergies (PA:TTEF) stock down 1.1%, Anglo American (LON:AAL) stock off 5.9% and ArcelorMittal (NYSE:MT) stock down 5.2%.

Elsewhere, Lufthansa (DE:LHAG) stock rose 2.7% despite the German airline launching a capital increase to pay back part of a state bailout it received during the coronavirus crisis. Investors have taken this decision as a sign of confidence by the management team.

Earlier Monday, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dropped more than 3%, dragged down by the continued dumping of shares in Chinese property company China Evergrande Group (HK:3333).

Investors seem to be taking a dim view of its prospects, with a bond interest payment due on Thursday and concerns growing that a default on its $300 billion of liabilities could crystallize broader risks in China's financial system.

Crude prices fell as supply increased in the U.S., the largest consumer in the world. The country’s oil and gas rig count rose by nine to 512 in the week to Sept. 17, its highest since April 2020 and double the level from this time last year, Baker Hughes said on Friday.

Additionally, only 23% of U.S. Gulf of Mexico crude output remained offline as of Friday, an improvement from the 28% seen on Thursday, more than two weeks after Hurricane Ida hit.

The dollar also climbed to a month high ahead of the Fed meeting, making commodities priced in the currency more expensive.

By 3:40 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded 1.3% lower at $70.88 a barrel, while the Brent contract fell 0.8% to $74.72. 

Additionally, gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,752.95/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% lower at 1.1711.

 

European Stocks Lower; ArcelorMIttal Hit Hard by Falling Ore Prices
 

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