World Economy

Global Stocks Down After China, US Data

Global Stocks Down After China, US DataGlobal Stocks Down After China, US Data

Global stock markets fell Monday after the release of lackluster economic data from the US and China.

Germany’s DAX lost 0.7% to 10,778.38 and Britain’s FTSE 100 was 0.6% lower at 6,324.82. The CAC 40 of France fell 0.7% to 4,862.78. Wall Street looked set to start the week in the red. Dow futures were down 0.3% and S&P 500 futures were 0.4% lower, AP reported.

A monthly survey of factory managers in China showed conditions were still weak in October, though the outlook was the best in four months. The Caixin index rose to 48.3 from 47.2 in September. Figures under 50 reflect a contraction. But an interest rate cut announced last month by Beijing that was its sixth cut in the past year is expected to help mitigate economic weakness.

In the US, consumer spending rose a feeble 0.1% in September, according to data on Friday.

 Asia Outlook

China’s top economic official says Beijing expects annual growth of “at least 6.5%” through 2020. The comments by Premier Li Keqiang at in speech in Seoul, South Korea are the first indication of a possible official growth target since the Communist Party leadership pledged last week to double the size of the economy from its 2010 level by 2020. This year’s growth target was about 7%.

Kobe Steel Ltd. tumbled 6.5% in Tokyo after its net-income forecast. China Mengniu Dairy Co slid 8.5% in Hong Kong after JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut its investment rating on the stock. Westpac Banking Corp. lost 2.5% in Sydney after reporting its slowest profit growth since 2009.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 1.1% to 132.95 in Hong Kong. The measure rallied 8.6% in October as China cut interest rates and the European Central Bank hinted at potential extra stimulus, while US and Japanese policymakers kept their monetary policies accommodative.

China’s first key indicator this quarter, an official factory gauge, missed analysts’ estimates, signaling that the manufacturing sector has yet to bottom out as global demand falters and deflationary pressures deepen.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 2.1% to 18,683.24 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 1.2% to 22,370.04. The Shanghai Composite Index was 1.7% lower at 3,325.08. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slipped 1.4% to 5,165.80. South Korea’s Kospi edged 0.3% higher to 2,035.24. Taiwan also was higher while markets in Southeast Asia were mixed.