World shares retreat after China reports economy weakened

BANGKOK (AP) — World share prices retreated after China reported yesterday that its economy grew 6.0 per cent, its slowest pace in 26 years, in the latest quarter.

Britain’s FTSE 100 edged 0.1 per cent lower to 7,177.44 as United Kingdom (UK) Prime Minister Boris Johnson worked to persuade lawmakers to accept a newly struck deal for the UK’s departure from the European Union (EU). The CAC 40 in Paris lost 0.2 per cent to 5,660.66 while Germany’s DAX reversed early losses, edging 0.1 per cent higher to 12,665.69.

Wall Street looked poised for a tepid start, with the future contract for the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.1 per cent at 26,960.00 and that for the S&P 500 also 0.1 per cent lower at 2,995.10.

The 6.0 per cent growth pace China reported for July-September was worse than forecast and the slowest since the country began reporting quarterly data in 1993.

It ups pressures on global growth and to Chinese leaders’ efforts to avert politically dangerous job losses as they fight a tariff war with the United States (US) President. 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.

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

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index advanced 0.2 per cent to 22,492.68. Shares also rose in Jakarta but fell in the rest of Southeast Asia.

A currency trader walks by a screen showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) at the foreign exchange dealing room in Seoul, South Korea. PHOTO: AP