When China posted that dire trading data with exports down 25.4% in February and imports down by 13.9%, I don’t wish to sound smug, but I could have written the script. Punters would have interpreted from that data that China will need to introduce stimulus packages to avoid the dole queue extending, particularly with the likelihood of 8 million coal and steel workers losing their jobs. So much for that wonderful rally the mining sector experienced in the past two weeks – it went up in smoke. Investors gave many of those constituent stocks an absolute leathering – Anglo-American down 16%, Glencore down 19%, Rio down 10% and BHP Billiton a mere bagatelle – down 9%. Oils slipped back by an average of 25 with Tullow losing 9%.
Of those companies that posted results today Worldpay travelled and arrived and investors were in no mood to give investors the benefit of the doubt and they took the shares down 6%. Paddy Power was down 1.75%. Foxtons despite lower revenue posted a greater profit – shares up 1%. Burberry was one of the stars of the session adding 6% based on the fact that an unknown buyer had built close to a 5% stake in the company. No one has so far owned up or expressed their interest. The FTSE 100 was down 60 points at 6120 at 4.10pm and the Street of Dreams was down 126 points.