📆 Friday, October 20
► Global equities faced continued headwinds amid escalating conflicts in the Middle East. Investors' concerns grew with reports of intensified drone attacks in Iraq and Syria and Israel preparing for a potential ground invasion of Gaza.
► European markets faced headwinds as the Stoxx 600 Index trades 0.6% lower after opening again ~1% below yesterday's closing price. Economic indicators presented mixed sentiments: In the UK, September's retail sales slid by 0.9% MoM, a deeper drop than the forecasted 0.2% decline. This was influenced by warm weather and surging living costs which led to a 1.9% slump in non-food stores sales. On an annual scale, sales receded by 1.0%, a modest decline since the downturn starting April 2022 but notably worse than the anticipated 0.1% dip. Excluding fuel, retail sales registered -1.0%, a decline from August's 0.6%. Meanwhile, Germany reported a downturn in Producer Price Inflation for September at -0.2%, contrasting the previous month's 0.3% and falling short of the 0.4% consensus. Remarkably, a year-on-year comparison for the same month marked a stark 14.7% reduction in Producer Prices, surpassing the predicted 14.2% decrease. It's a strong sign that inflation will soon turn much lower with rising energy/fuel prices remaining the main driver for inflation.
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