The FTSE has posted gains on Monday. Currently, the FTSE index is trading at 7,187, up 0.35% on the day. In economic news, the focus is on manufacturing releases. British Manufacturing PMI slowed to 49.4, missing expectations. Later on, the U.K. releases BRC Retail Sales Monitor, with an estimate of 0.9%. In the U.S., ISM Manufacturing PMI dropped to 52.1, short of the estimate of 53.0. On Tuesday, the U.K. releases Construction PMI.
May was a turbulent month for equity markets, as trade tensions soared between the U.S. and China, dashing hopes that a trade agreement was imminent. The blue-chip FTSE had a dismal May, falling 3.79%, its worst monthly performance in 2019. Aside from the U.S.-China spat, there could be more headwinds on the trade front. On Friday, U.S. President Trump shook up the markets with a threat to slap tariffs on all Mexican products, due to the illegal immigration crisis. Although Trump said that tariffs would be set at just 5%, investors were jarred by the news. The FTSE declined over 1.0%, a reminder that risk apprehension remains high, and the possibility of further U.S. tariffs could cause further volatility in the equity markets.
The focus was on manufacturing data on Monday, and the results were disappointing on both sides of the pond. In the U.K., manufacturing PMI dipped below the 50-level, which separates expansion from contraction. The PMI dropped to 49.4, marking the first contraction since July 2016. Manufacturing news in the U.S. also disappointed, as ISM Manufacturing PMI slowed to 52.1, down from 53.0 a month earlier. Global demand has fallen off trade tensions, and unless this situation improves, manufacturing sectors across the globe will remain under strong pressure.