Yesterday, the market took a breather after last week’s rally, sparked by hopes that rate cuts will happen next year.  Energy shares and miners underperformed due to lower oil and iron ore prices. The FTSE 100 ended Monday’s session 0.2% lower. 

Ratings agency Moody's cut its outlook on China's government credit ratings to "negative" from "stable", citing lower medium-term economic growth and ongoing downsizing of the property sector.

Meanwhile, Barclays dropped 2.4% after Qatar Holding said it is looking to sell around 510 million pounds of shares in the lender.

Victrex PLC, a polymer solutions company, fell 4.5% after iit reported a 17% decline in full-year profit and revenues due to weak demand in electronics, energy & industrials.

Industrial equipment rental company Ashtead Group fell 3.8% although it reported a 5% increase in interim dividend following a record first half performance. Pretax profit grew to $1.25 billion from $1.19 billion, and revenue rose 16% to $5.57 billion.

In the UK, retailers experienced weak sales growth in November, despite Black Friday deals. The British Retail Consortium noted a 2.7% year-on-year increase in sales, significantly below the 4.2% rise a year ago. Consumers are focusing on budget-friendly items due to the cost-of-living crisis.

UK grocery inflation eased in the final quarter of the year, with like-for-like grocery inflation at 9.1%. Take-home grocery sales are expected to surpass £13 billion for the first time ever this December. The festive period is anticipated to be a bumper one for grocers, with consumers buying on average 10% more items than in a typical month.

Investors are awaiting the November S&P Global/CIPS services Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) data, due later today.

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