Tuesday, 23 October: Uncertainty over Chinese growth fears alongside geopolitical fears brought a risk-off mood to Tuesday’s equity markets, as negative sentiment in Asia spilled over in to major European indices. Major Asian markets retracted from Monday gains; the Nikkei in Japan (-2.19%) falling to its lowest level in 2 months. It set the tone as the opening bell rang in Europe; the DAX in Germany suffering more so as pharmaceutical company Bayer suffered following a judge’s guilty ruling over the company’s Roundup weedkiller causing cancer to a US groundskeeper. Technology stocks suffered on both sides of the Atlantic with missed earnings, cut forecasts and weak guidance combining with global growth fears. On the main London index, UK gambling stocks were sent lower as fear over Philip Hammond’s potential tax increase on remote-gaming duty at next week’s Budget. GVC fell more than 7% mid-afternoon, closing -7.15%. The FTSE 100 dropped below 7,000 as investors flocked to “safe haven” assets; physical Gold is sitting 1% higher at the time of writing; miner Fresnillo securing top spot in London, up 9.11%. More defensive stocks (those who continue to pay a dividend amid market uncertainty) were also sitting higher; British American Tobacco up 4.24% at the close.
At the close, the FTSE 100 was lower by 1.24%, the FTSE 250 -1.96% while the CAC in France was down by 1.69% and the DAX -2.06%.
The sea of red continued as US futures pointed towards a down-beaten open. Wall Street tumbled as the S&P looks set for its worth month since August 2015 and its 5th consecutive day of losses. Unsurprisingly, the tech-heavy NASDAQ suffered, falling more than 2.5% at the time of writing. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones are lower by 1.72% and 1.66% respectively.
Despite the geopolitical tensions between the US and Saudi following the alleged murder of journalist Khashoggi, brent oil dropped below $80 today as the middle-eastern nation claimed it would play a “responsible role” in energy markets, adding that it will fill in any gaps created by the US’ sanctions on Iran. Saudi themselves could be victim of potential sanctions following the killing of Khashoggi at a Saudi consulate in Istanbul, although the nation’s Energy Minister has denied any intention of doing so. Brent drops to $76.92 at the time of writing, down 3.6%, falling from earlier month highs of $86.74