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FTSE close: Stocks fall as market eyes weaker growth data


The FTSE 100 has ended the first session of the week down after disappointing growth numbers from Greece and Japan, while traders prepare for a week full of important economic data.

Monday closed with the blue-chip index down 15.23 points, or 0.26 per cent, to 5,831.88. This followed official figures showing the Greek economy as contracting by 6.3 per cent in the second quarter while preliminary data suggests the Japanese economy grew at a slower-than-expected annualised rate of 1.4 per cent over the three-month period.

Markets have struggled to find direction today as a series of important economic data – much of it focused on Europe – is scheduled to be published in coming days.

Preliminary growth figures for Germany and France – the two largest economies in the eurozone – are due to be released tomorrow. Speculation has recently grown that the two countries are heading back into recession, which would have worrying consequences for the eurozone.

In the UK, the Office for National Statistics will publish inflation data tomorrow. This will be followed by the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee minutes for its most recent meeting and unemployment statistics.

At a stock level, the FTSE 100 was pushed down by a fall in shares of oil and gas group Petrofac. The company ended the session down 5.17 per cent at 1,486p.

Despite announcing a 37.5 per cent rise in profits for the six months to 30 June, Petrofac suffered after revealing that several onshore engineering and construction contract awards have been delayed.

Falls were also seen in the Euro Stoxx 50, the S&P 500, France’s Cac 40, Germany’s Dax, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and Japan’s Nikkei 225 as investors weighed up the headwinds to global growth.


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