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Markets stutter on US and eurozone data

US housing data and eurozone economic sentiment index depress stocks

US equity markets fell into the red, while European stocks followed suit, after a raft of disappointing economic data.

Benchmark data from S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city composite US home price index, records prices still down 4.5% from a year ago, despite rising by 1.1% June from May. Initially, the data looked positive, as prices advanced 3.6% in the April to June quarter, with 19 of the 20 cities showing monthly advances.

However, the year-on-year data shows that US home prices are still 32% lower than peak levels. The US August consumer confidence index levels also dropped to 44.5 versus July’s 59.2.

The Dow Jones, Nasdaq and S&P500 all travelled lower by at least one percentage point.

Meanwhile, the European Commission revealed a sharp drop in its economic sentiment indicator for the eurozone, slipping to 98.3 in August from 103.0 in July. While the drop had been forecast by economists, the level of decline was a surprise.

The consumer confidence index declined to –16.5 from –11.2 in July. The industry index fell to –2.9 from 0.9.

European markets fell on the news, but the UK’s FTSE100 was up over 2% as the markets caught up after the Monday holiday.

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