World Economy

Global Stocks Mostly Lower

Global Stocks Mostly Lower Global Stocks Mostly Lower

Global markets were mostly lower Wednesday after US stocks took their biggest loss in almost a month, underscoring simmering worries about global economic growth.

France’s CAC 40 dipped 0.6% to 4,303.63 in early trading, while Germany’s DAX shed 0.2% to 10,121.14. Britain’s FTSE 100 edged down 0.1% to 6,637.85. US shares were set to drift lower, with Dow futures down 0.2% at 18,207. S&P 500 futures were also down 0.2% at 2,147.40, AP reported.

Disappointment is already setting in over how the substance of Japan’s 28 trillion yen ($272 billion) economic stimulus package falls far short of the hype, given that much of the money is already in the pipeline. A strong yen is also deepening pessimism over prospects for Japan’s recovery.

“The forex markets have been in risk-off mode over the past day, as concerns grow about Japan’s woefully limited economic package and as oil prices plunge, stoking fears that global growth is stagnating,” said Stephen Innes, senior trader at Oanda Asia Pacific.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 slipped 1.9% to finish at 16,083.11. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 dropped 1.4% to 5,465.70. South Korea’s Kospi lost 1.2% at 1,994.79. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dipped 1.8% to 21,739.12, but the Shanghai Composite inched up 0.2% to 2,978.46.

Oil prices rebounded from their recent plunge. Benchmark US crude added 24 cents to $39.75 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell 55 cents on Wednesday to $39.51 a barrel. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 32 cents to $42.12 a barrel in London.

The dollar fell to 101.14 yen from 102.60 yen late Tuesday in Asia, while the euro rose to $1.120 from $1.117.

Europe’s banking sector began to bounce back from a torrid start to the week, where it fell over 5%. Shares of HSBC Holdings PLC were up over 3% after the UK lender said it would spend up to $2.5 billion in the second half of the year to buy back shares, even as earnings dropped in the first half of the year.

Shares of Societe Generale SA also rose around 4% after the French lender reported a jump in second-quarter profit, while shares in Dutch bank ING Groep NV were up 8% after profits beat expectations.