FTSE 100 starts 2019 in the red, down 1.6%

FTSE 100 starts 2019 in the red, down 1.6%

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For the first day of trading in 2019, the FTSE 100 has opened in the red.

Wednesday morning saw the blue-chip stock index fell over 100 points, or 1.6%, to 6,620.71.

The bad start to the year follows the end to 2018, where the FTSE 100 tumbled over 12.5%, wiping over £240 billion off the value of companies listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Markets in Europe and Asia were both hit at the start of the year. Eurostoxx and stocks in Shanghai are down by over 1%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell by almost 3%.

“Global stock markets seem shaky on the first trading day of the year and still under the influence of the sell-off which we experienced in 2018,” said Naeem Aslam, who is the chief market analyst at Think Markets.

“Investors are clearly concerned about the growth in 2019 and the lack of confidence is keeping them on the sidelines or they are feeling safer by parking their capital in risk-off assets,” he added.

“The Chinese Caixin manufacturing number released today made investors more concerned about this as the number dipped below the critical point which differentiates the difference between contraction and expansion.”

“On the back of this number, investors followed one particular theme which spread from Hong Kong to Sydney- press the sell button only. Basically, for traders as long as the issues around the trade war between the US and China aren’t resolved, they cannot think of a situation which can promote growth.”

The tensions between the US and China are making a dent to global markets.

Christina Parthenidou, an investment analyst at XM, said: “With business conditions in China deteriorating and clarity missing over how Washington and Beijing will finally solve their trade dispute, despite both sides showing willingness to do so, some additional stimulus might be needed later in the year to prevent further economic weakness.”

Among the biggest fallers of the FTSE 100 on Wednesday are mining companies. BHP (LON: BHP) is currently trading down 4.01% and Glencore (LON: GLEN) shares are trading down 4.35% (1022GMT).