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China’s industrial output boosts copper

The Dow Jones Industrial Average

The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit 40,000 points for the first time during Thursday’s session. In Europe, equity markets were on track to open lower as the Volatility Index rose from its near-six-year low.

China’s industrial production

China’s industrial production rose 6.7% year-on-year in April, a step up from the 4.5% pace in March and above expectations for a 5.5% increase. Industrial and manufacturing outputs were mainly driven by external demand. But domestic demand remains a concern. Retail sales increased by 2.3% in April, the slowest increase since December 2022 and far short of the 3.8% rise anticipated by economists.

China’s economic recovery remains, and policymakers must continue policy support to prop up growth. Separate data published this morning showed new home prices fell at the fastest pace in over nine years in April, by 9.8% year-on-year (YoY), still a drag on the overall economy.


GSK sells about 385 million shares, representing its entire shareholding, in the spun-off consumer healthcare business Haleon. This morning’s GSK said it agreed to sell at 324 pence per share, raising about £1.25 billion. Haleon’s £39 billion market cap shares closed at 331 pence. The latest offload will mark the fourth set of disposals GSK has had in Haleon in a year. Last year, the British drugmaker said that the Haleon spin-off and subsequent stake sales would allow the company to focus on its vaccines and support its struggling drug pipeline. On Monday, Johnson & Johnson also sold its remaining 9.5% stake in Kenvue.

Land Securities

Land Securities posted a pretax loss of £341 million for the full year. Adjusted net debt stood at £3.5 billion. Land Securities said on Friday that refinancing cheap debt issued before 2022 remained a challenge for parts of the sector.

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