Weak data sends markets lower

The chances of imminent action in Syria have continued to diminish, easing market fears and allowing traders and investors to focus on today’s economic releases.

Weaker-than-expected German retail sales have followed yesterday’s weak German unemployment claims, which suggests a slightly less buoyant economic environment than hoped for.

Early afternoon US personal spending and income figures have taken the edge off indices, and though no sector has clearly lead the market lower, by the same token no particular sector has managed to prop up the index. European indices are also a touch weaker and it does feel like a broad sell-off, with a risk-off mentality descending on traders.

There has been an element of panic over the last 48 hours due to possibile military action by the west against an Arabic nation. Yesterday's decision by the House of Commons has reduced the chances of the UK joining in with any offensive action. Although the UK military is not as large as many, it does carry a certain amount of gravitas that would help to legitimise the US.

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