Miners, oil stocks weigh on European shares as commodities slump

Miners, oil stocks weigh on European shares as commodities slump

LONDON - European shares fell early on Monday as weak Chinese economic data contributed to a rout in the commodities market and early indications pointed to disappointing sales at the start of the US holiday shopping season.

At 0804 GMT, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 0.7 per cent at 1,383.61 points, snapping a six-day winning streak.

Mining stocks weighed as London copper tumbled to its lowest level in four-and-a-half years and oil fell more than $2 a barrel to a five-year low. Data showed China's factories slowed more than expected in November, casting a shadow over demand prospects at a time when the oil market already faces a supply glut.

Oil services company Tullow Oil fell 7.1 per cent while miner Glencore shed 4.3 per cent.

Precious metals' miners were also under pressure after gold slid 2 per cent on Monday and silver slumped to its lowest since 2009. Swiss voters overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to boost central bank gold reserves, providing a new trigger for sell-offs in an already nervous market.

Adding to a more subdued market tone after a two-week rise for major European indexes, the US National Retail Federation estimated sales over the full Thanksgiving weekend would show a decline of 11.3 per cent from a year earlier, to $50.9 billion.

Investors were awaiting manufacturing data from the euro zone's three largest economies, due between 0845 GMT and 0900 GMT.

European Central Bank Executive Board member Sabine Lautenschlaeger said on Saturday she saw little room for further easing of monetary policy despite a further fall in euro zone inflation.

 

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