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European stocks ended the week in the red, with Friday’s session adding to a slide amid jitters over a hawkish U.S. Federal Reserve and disappointment after some big corporations produced poorly received quarterly results.
The Stoxx Europe 600 eased 0.4% to 365.57 after Thursday modest gain. The pan-European gauge is showing a gain of 0.3% for the week. Germany’s DAX 30 eased 0.2% to 11,504.04, while France’s CAC 40 dropped 0.7% to 5,097.31. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 dropped 0.6% to 7,095.15.
U.S. markets also ended under the weather in contrast with an otherwise solid week, with falling oil prices and a weakening Chinese economy helped affirm the bearish narrative of slower global growth. The S&P 500 was down 0.9% to 2,781. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.8% to 25,989. The Nasdaq Composite ended lower by 1.6% to around 7,407.
Alibaba sets a Singles Day record with more than $30 billion in sales
It was the 10th edition of the annual Singles Day event, which is also called the Double 11 shopping festival because it falls on Nov. 11. During the 24-hour period, Alibaba offered huge discounts across its e-commerce sites such as Tmall.
Alibaba's Singles Day sales haul easily exceeded the spending by consumers during any single U.S. shopping holiday.
The event got off to a strong start with sales hitting $1 billion in one minute and 25 seconds. Just over an hour in, and sales exceeded $10 billion, five minutes and 21 seconds faster than last year. The number of delivery orders surpassed a billion.
Alibaba introduced new aspects into this year's Singles Day. Lazada, a Singapore-based e-commerce site that has operations across Southeast Asia and is majority-owned by Alibaba, hosted its own sales. And Ele.me, Alibaba's food delivery platform, provided delivery for select Starbucks stores across 11 Chinese cities. Starbucks struck a deal earlier this year with Alibaba to work together in China.
The Chinese giant is putting a big focus this year on a strategy it calls "new retail," which aims to bring together the online parts of its business with the offline. For example, it has a chain of grocery stores called Hema which allow users to go in and shop, pay with their phone and walk out. The Starbucks deal is part of the new retail strategy.
Singles Day could provide some relief to investors amid concerns that the U.S.-China trade war and stock market drops in the mainland have hit Chinese consumer appetite. Alibaba is facing a number of headwinds with shares down nearly 16 percent this year due to weakening investors sentiment towards Chinese technology companies because of the trade war. And the company recently cut its revenue guidance for the fiscal year.
Alibaba also pledged last week to help businesses sell $200 billion worth of goods to China in the next five years.
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