Business

European markets are set to open lower Monday morning, after a shock contraction in Chinese exports heightened fears of a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy.

The FTSE 100 is seen 35 points lower at 6,883, the CAC is expected to open down around 48 points at 4,733, while the DAX is poised to start 78 points lower at 10,809, according to IG.

Market focus is largely attuned to economic data, amid escalating fears of a sharper-than-expected slowdown in global growth and corporate profits. It comes after official data from China on Monday showed imports fell 7.6 percent year-on-year in December, while analysts had anticipated a 5 percent rise.

Meanwhile, the country’s exports unexpectedly dropped 4.4 percent, defying projections of a 3 percent gain. The news appeared to reinforce worries that U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods were starting to take a heavy toll on China’s cooling economy.

In Asia, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares, excluding Japan, slipped around 1 percent on Monday.

Back in Europe, Brexit remains in the spotlight for market participants. That’s because British lawmakers are poised to vote on Prime Minister Theresa May‘s much maligned Brexit deal on Tuesday.

Remarkably, May’s template to exit the bloc faces virtually certain defeat.

That leaves the prospect of a complete collapse of government, a disorderly exit from the bloc or even the entire Brexit process being scrapped altogether over the coming weeks.

On the data front, investors are also likely to closely monitor the latest year-on-year industrial production figures for the euro area at around 10:00 a.m. London time.

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