London Markets: FTSE 100 drops on China gloom, Brexit-vote jitters

London markets fell on Monday, a day ahead of the crucial U.K. parliamentary vote over Prime Minister Theresa May’s divisive agreement for Britain’s exit from the European Union.

Weaker-than-expected Chinese trade data added to investor worries that China’s economy is slowing, dragging on perceived risker asset such as stocks and oil.

How are markets trading?

The U.K.’s FTSE 100 UKX, -0.99%  fell 1% to 6,851.34, after finishing up 1.2% on Friday.

The British pound was indecisive on Monday, as it struggled to make gains. The pound GBPUSD, +0.1636% was trading at $1.2839 from $1.2830 seen late Friday in New York.

What is driving the markets?

U.K. Parliament will vote on Prime Minister Theresa May’s divisive agreement for Brexit on Tuesday, and that has helped put U.K. markets on edge despite last week’s gains.

May will address MPs on Monday and warn them that voting against her deal could ultimately stop the U.K. from leaving the European Union. It is widely expected that the Prime Minister’s deal will be rejected reject tomorrow, as politicians on both sides of the Brexit debate continue to oppose to its central tenets.

Weaker-than-expected Chinese trade data hit investor appetite for perceived riskier assets, such as stocks, and sparked fresh worries over a global economic slowdown on Monday. China’s trade surplus with the U.S. also rose to $323.32 billion in 2018, the widest ever as the two nations are in talks to resolve trade disputes.

What stocks are active?

Britain’s Burberry PLC BRBY, +0.94% rose 0.5%, after Bank of America Merrill Lynch reportedly raised its stock recommendation to neutral from underperform.

Online supermarket Ocado Group PLC OCDO, +1.16%  gained almost 1.2%. Meanwhile, the Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC RBS, +0.40%  and London Stock Exchange Group LSE, +1.94%  both gained around 2%.

Commodity-related shares were under pressure, with weak China data hitting oil prices and conversely shares of related companies, with heavily-weighed Royal Dutch Shell PLC RDS.A, -1.14% RDS.B, -0.99%  down 1% and BP PLC BP, -1.13% BP., -0.88%  dropped 0.7%.

Mining shares fell, given their sensitivity to data that heightens worries about a slowdown in China, a big buyer of resources. Rio Tinto PLC RIO, -0.16% RIO, -0.96% eased 0.8%. Glencore PLC GLEN, -1.56% GLEN, -1.56%  dropped 1.2% and Antofagasta PLC ANTO, -2.56%  lost over 2%.

Paddy Power Betfair PLC PPB, -4.29% topped the FTSE 100 fallers, losing just under 3%, while retailer Next PLC NXT, -2.50% followed close behind, dropping just under 3%.

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