Global markets brush off disconcerting data out of China

1010 WINS Newsroom
October 18, 2019 - 8:08 am

A currency trader watches computer monitors at the foreign exchange dealing room in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. Share prices retreated in Asia after China reported Friday that its economy grew at an annual rate of 6.0% in the latest quarter. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

BANGKOK (AP) — Global markets largely brushed off more disconcerting economic signals from China, which on Friday reported that its economy grew at its slowest pace in 26 years last quarter.

The 6% growth pace China reported for July-September was worse than most economists were expecting, highlighting a global economy that is slowing. Domestically, Beijing is under significant pressure to head off job losses as a trade war with the U.S. drags on.

Some of the latest data for September, such as investment and lending, showed improvement, but "pressure on economic activity should intensify in the coming months," Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics said in a commentary.

"Cooling global demand will continue to weigh on exports, fiscal constraints mean that infrastructure spending will wane in the near-term and the recent boom in property construction looks set to unwind."

It was the slowest growth rate since China began reporting quarterly data in 1993.

Britain's FTSE 100 gained almost 0.2% to 7,194 as Prime Minister Boris Johnson worked to persuade lawmakers to accept a newly struck deal for the United Kingdom's departure from the European Union. The vote is scheduled for Saturday.

The CAC 40 in Paris lost 0.2% to 5,660 while Germany's DAX reversed early losses, edging 0.2% higher to 12,678.

Wall Street looked poised for a tepid start, with the future contracts for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 both trending toward flat to slightly higher opens.

The Shanghai Composite index gave up early gains, sinking 1.3% to 2,938.14, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.5% to 26,709.07. Australia's S&P ASX 200 declined 0.5% to 6,649.70 and the Kospi in South Korea skidded 0.8% to 2,060.69.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index advanced 0.2% to 22,492.68. Shares also rose in Jakarta but fell in the rest of Southeast Asia and in Taiwan.

Stocks closed broadly higher on Wall Street Thursday as investors welcomed another batch of encouraging quarterly results from big companies.

Despite a choppy week of trading, the benchmark S&P 500 index appears on track for its second straight weekly gain.

The breakthrough in negotiations over Britain's exit from the European Union also helped put traders in a buying mood.

The tentative deal still faces a potentially tough fight for approval in Britain's divisive Parliament.

In other trading, benchmark crude oil picked up 58 cents to $54.51 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose 57 cents to settle at $53.93 a barrel on Thursday.

Brent crude oil, the international standard, gained 20 cents to $60.11 a barrel.

The dollar slipped to 108.59 Japanese yen from 108.66 yen on Thursday. The euro rose to $1.1145 from $1.1126.

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