World shares mostly lower as Chinese growth data disappoints

By ELAINE KURTENBACH 18 October 2021, 12:00AM

World shares were mostly lower on Monday after China reported its economy grew at a meager 4.9% annual pace in July-September.

Germany's DAX declined 0.5% to 15,506.11 and the CAC 40 in Paris gave up 0.8% to 6,676.21. Britain's FTSE 100 lost 0.2% to 7,216.79.

The future for the Dow industrials was 0.2% lower while the future for the S&P 500 lost 0.3%.

The Shanghai Composite index inched 0.1% lower to 3,568.14, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong recovered from earlier losses, gaining 0.3% to 25,409.75.

Chinese growth is under pressure as the government seeks to limit energy use and reduce financial risks from reliance on debt-fueled property developments. Shortages of computer chips and other components due to the pandemic are hurting manufacturing.

The 4.9% annual pace of growth was slightly below forecasts and compared with a 7.9% expansion in the April-June quarter, which was exaggerated by the downturn in 2020.

“The growth outlook has weakened due to the various headwinds," Tommy Wu and Louis Kuijs of Oxford Economics said in a report. They forecast that growth would “slow significantly" in the current quarter.

New Zealand's benchmark edged 0.1% lower after figures showed prices jumped 4.9% in July-September from a year earlier. It was the fastest pace of inflation since early 2011.

The figures add to pressure on New Zealand’s central bank to keep hiking rates after it raised the benchmark rate earlier this month for the first time in seven years by a quarter point to 0.5%.

Investors remain uneasy that price increases in many countries could lead to “stagflation,” or a stagnating economy coupled with high inflation.

Other regional shares also fell. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index gave up 0.2% to 29,025.46. In Seoul, the Kospi lost 0.3% to 3,006.68.

The S&P/ASX 200 in Sydney rose 0.3% to 7,381.10. India's benchmark rose 0.9% to 61,879.24.

On Friday, Wall Street added to its recent gains, with the benchmark S&P 500 posting its best week since July.

The S&P 500 rose 0.7%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.1% and the Nasdaq composite gained 0.5%.

Positive company earnings dovetailed with a report showing people spent much more at U.S. retailers in September than analysts had expected.

The S&P 500 is back within 1.5% of its all-time high after a shaky few weeks as worries about stubbornly high inflation, reduced support for markets from the Federal Reserve and a slowing economy knocked stock prices around.

Early indicators from earnings reports have been encouraging, with companies showing stronger profits than expected. That's crucial after climbing interest rates raised worries that stock prices had grown too expensive relative to profits.

Treasury yields rose following the much stronger-than-expected report on retail sales. The yield on the 10-year note climbed to 1.60% early Monday from 1.57% late Friday.

The price of benchmark U.S. oil rose 90 cents to $83.18 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It surged 1.2% to $82.28 per barrel on Friday, continuing a powerful run that has sent it up more than 70% this year and fanned worries about high inflation.

Brent, the global benchmark for crude, climbed advanced 59 cents to $85.45 per barrel. It jumped 1% on Friday, though the price of U.S. natural gas fell 4.9%.

The U.S. dollar rose to 114.32 Japanese yen from 114.22 yen late Friday. The euro fell to $1.1584 from $1.1602.

___

AP Business Writer Joe McDonald in Beijing and Associated Press writer Nick Perry in Wellington contributed.

By ELAINE KURTENBACH 18 October 2021, 12:00AM
Samoa Observer

Upgrade to Premium

Subscribe to
Samoa Observer Online

Enjoy access to over a thousand articles per month, on any device.

Ready to signup?