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* Luxury, one of the most declining travel stocks
* H&M drops after disappointing earnings
* UK inflation hits 9 year high (add comment, update prices)
By Sruthi Shankar
Sept. 15 (Reuters) – European stocks fell on Wednesday as concerns over the slowing Chinese economy, falling luxury goods and travel values and soaring UK inflation kept major indexes under pressure.
The benchmark STOXX 600 index was down 0.1% in morning trading, and about 2% from the mid-August record.
Asian stocks were hit after data showed China’s factory and retail sectors weakened in August, with production and sales growth reaching their lowest level in a year following the new coronavirus outbreaks and supply disruptions.
Retail and travel and leisure stocks were the biggest declines in Europe, down nearly 1%, amid concerns over the new COVID-19 outbreak in China’s Fujian Province and signs of stricter regulations in Macau, the world’s largest gambling hub.
French luxury goods manufacturers LVMH and Kering fell more than 3%.
“China is reviewing everything right now. If you look at the industry that was hammered today it would be the Macau casinos,” said Keith Termperton, a trader at Forte Securities.
“It has a ripple effect in terms of sentiment. If you consider Macau, it has had an impact on the luxury goods sector in Europe. Retail sales figures in China were also quite weak.”
While optimism for a stable European economic recovery remains, the STOXX 600 is on track to end its seven-month winning streak in September as investors increasingly worry about global growth and the outlook for monetary policy.
The UK FTSE 100 fell slightly and mid-cap stocks fell 0.3% after data showed UK inflation topped more than nine years last month.
Fashion retailer H&M fell 2.8% as quarterly sales grew less than expected, while Zara owner Inditex fell 1.0% even as sales approached pre-market levels. pandemic.
Swedish Match rose 3.4% after the tobacco and nicotine maker announced plans to sell its U.S. cigar business to shareholders and go public.
Dutch online food delivery company Just Eat Takeaway fell 4.0% after the Financial Times reported that British rival Deliveroo and Amazon would offer free delivery to Prime subscribers. Deliveroo gained 0.9%.
Oil inventories were the main gainers as crude prices surged after industry data showed a larger-than-expected decline in crude oil inventories in the United States. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bangalore; editing by Shounak Dasgupta)