European stocks faltered on Wednesday morning as a larger-than-expected drop in exports from China fueled anxiety regarding the state of global demand. This also fanned concerns surrounding China’s post-pandemic economic rebound, which has not proven as smooth as expected.
The Stoxx Europe 600 declined by 0.3% during early trading while the FTSE 100 fell 0.2% after U.K. lender Halifax reported that the nation’s house prices had experienced their first annual decline since 2012.
Among the sectors that were hit hardest by China’s export decline was luxury goods, with LVMH and Hermes International set to decline for a third straight session.
“Weaker global trade is not a new story but it is surprising how quickly China’s reopening boost has faded,” Craig Erlam, a senior market analyst at Oanda, remarked. “Pressure is set to intensify on the leadership to announce new stimulus measures in a bid to revitalize the economy again.”
The euro remained little changed against the U.S. dollar at $1.2417 as did the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index. The sterling also remained stable against the greenback at $1.2417.