European stocks started the day lower on Tuesday. UK’s FTSE 100 index fell nearly 34 points after an improvement in its labor market. Germany’s DAX index slipped more than 100 points ahead of the country’s PPI data later in the week. The French CAC 40 index as well as the Euro STOXX 50 index were in the red as well.

UK Labor Data

The United Kingdom’s Labor data for July was published earlier on Tuesday. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), early estimates for July 2021 indicate that the number of payrolled employees advanced 2.0%. However, compared to pre-pandemic levels, the number of payrolled employees was 0.7% below.

The administrative and support services sector saw the largest number of payrolled employees in July 2021.  The wholesale sector recorded the smallest number of payrolled employees.

Estimates for July 2021 indicate that the median monthly pay rose 6.4% compared with a year ago. Annual growth in median pay for employees in the same month was highest in the arts and entertainment sector.

According to the ONS, the unemployment and economic inactivity rate decreased in the April to June quarter. The employment rate increased in the same quarter. The UK employment rate was estimated at 75.1%, 1.5% lower than the pre-pandemic level and 0.3% higher than the previous quarter.

The UK unemployment rate was estimated at 4.7%, 0.8% higher than before the pandemic. The economic inactivity rate came in at 21.1% in the second quarter. It was 0.9% higher than before the pandemic, but 0.2% down from the first quarter.

FTSE 100 Performers

The best performer in the FTSE 100 index was BHP Group Plc. The world’s biggest mining company gained more than 8.0% in its stock earnings. BHP announced its plans to sell its oil and gas business valued at $15 billion.

Ocado Group Plc gained nearly 1.22% earlier on Tuesday. The supermarket company, unlike its main competitors, has no chain of stores. The company’s overall sales growth slowed down in the second quarter.

HSBC Holdings Plc was also among the top performers in the index.  The investment banking company agreed to buy AXA Singapore for $575 million to help build a global hub in Singapore.

Among the laggards in the FTSE 100 index include Kingfisher Plc and IAG. Kingfisher is a British multinational retailing company. The company lost more than 2.33% in its stock price.

International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (IAG) is an international airline company. The company fell more than 1.80% after the company’s chairwoman Elizabeth Bryan announced that she would be stepping down at the AGM in October.

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