European miners down 4% as Asia loses steam – CNBC

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European equities were trading lower on Tuesday after a recent rally petered out in Asian markets and China trade data hit European miners hard.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was trading 0.4 percent lower by midday with all sectors except banks and utilities in negative territory.

Basic resources took the biggest hit with the sector down 4.9 percent. Miners were feeling the pressure after weak trade data from China caused a drop in industrial metals prices such as copper, nickel and aluminum.

Mining companies BHP Billiton and Anglo American were the worst performers on London’s FTSE 100 index, down around 5 and 7.5 percent respectively. Fellow miners Rio Tinto and Glencore were not far behind, down 4 percent.

The best performer on the FTSE was luxury fashion brand Burberry. up 3.9 percent on news that a mystery investor has built up a stake of close to 5 percent in the group, prompting the brand to seek help from its financial advisers to defend it against any potential takeover bid, the Financial Times reported.

China’s trade data showed that exports fell 25.4 percent in February in U.S. dollar terms, while imports fell 13.8 percent, with both declines wider than expectations. The drop in exports was the largest on-year drop since 2009, according to Reuters.

The decline in market confidence comes just as oil prices appear to be recovering – apart from a dip on the back of the weak Chinese trading data.

Benchmark Brent crude remained over $40 a barrel after jumping to 2016 highs the previous day as producers announced talks to support the market and investors opened new bullish bets, Reuters reported.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $37.48 a barrel, down 42 cents from their last close but almost 45 percent up from their 2016 low on February 1. Predictions of an oil rally to $50 a barrel have markets excited, but IHS’ top oil analyst cautions that the commodity hasn’t done rebalancing yet.

Shares of RWE were down 0.6 percent after the company said it hoped RWE it could overcome a crisis at its British unit npower by 2018, its chief executive said Reuters reported, after the business swung to an operating loss in the past financial year.

“What happened there (in Britain) was a disaster,” Peter Terium said in a speech, pointing to a rapid loss of customers and billing issues that drove npower into the red. “We hope to be out of the valley of tears in the UK by 2018.”

Earnings were out from Merck, Lindt, Foxtons and Paddy Power.

European miners down 4% as Asia loses steam – CNBC}