Stark reality of China's lockdowns: Oil and FTSE 100 down

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Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, trade figures released this week by the Chinese government have been enough of a disappointment to affect the price of raw commodities.

China is by far the most productive country on earth. Its massive population coupled to its might as the world's manufacturing center has propelled it into a league of its own to the extent that new cities which were only built between ten and fifteen years ago across the country are now home to between fifteen and twenty million people per city and it is not uncommon to see Rolls Royce cars and huge corporate headquarters dominating the streets and skylines as if these metropoli had hundreds of years of prosperity behind them.

China's massive output which feeds its own enormous domestic market as well as provides pretty much everything to the entire world is unsurprisingly the reason why it is the highest importer and consumer of crude oil in the world by a very long way.

Therefore, when figures in China are down, this is enough to affect the price of crude oil as a global commodity.

Rather unbelievably, the Chinese government, which operates a single-party, communist state in which the entire economy is centralized and has massive government involvement, is engaging in draconian lockdowns, something that has been going on for over two years now, with its obedient population complying to the letter.

Due to these lockdowns which are still taking place in several major cities, the year-on-year figures showing exports growth of 7.1% and imports up by just 0.3% in August were both below expectations.

The export growth is an important metric here, because importing anything other than raw materials into China (an activity which is supervised by the government), is against the law as it contravenes the communist ethos of the government.

Exporting products made for external markets is China's strength, and a slow growth of such a massive mainstay of the economy is an indictor that a bit less oil would be required if productivity is down.

The price of Brent crude was below $92 a barrel at the start of London trading this morning, which has had an effect on mining and exploration company stocks which are listed on the London Stock Exchange.

China’s worse-than-expected trade figures led specifically toward energy and mining stocks opening lower, leaving the FTSE 100 index down 78.76 points at 7221.68.

It's still above the 7220 mark, which is not a catastrophe by any means, but the lowering value of oil globally and energy company stocks on London's markets is an indicator toward how much of an influencer Chinese productivity is on global markets.

To put some actual figures on this, Rio Tinto lost 2.5% and Anglo American fell by just under 2%, while BP retreated 1.5% or 6.5p to 446.15p.

China therefore remains the world's most influential market and this serves as a reminder of its might, whether things are going well or not so well!

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