Monday 24 April 2017

Brittle China sends world markets lower

An investor stands in front of an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in Huaibei, Anhui province. Photo: Reuters
An investor stands in front of an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in Huaibei, Anhui province. Photo: Reuters

Reuters

An 8.5pc plunge in Chinese shares, the worst single-day fall in eight years, stoked concerns yesterday over slowing growth in the world's second biggest economy, knocking down global equities and the prices of key commodities.

The dollar eased on safety bidding for other major currencies. The euro topped $1.11 for the first time in two weeks, boosted further by strong German business sentiment data.

Wall Street was down on worries over China's slowing growth, and the falls in Shanghai also rattled equity markets in Europe and Asia.

The ISEQ index of Irish shares closed down a hefty 2.6pc at 6,316, with declines seen across sectors.

China's top securities regulator said the government there would continue to buy shares to stabilise the stock market as an unprecedented rescue plan already in place appeared to be sputtering.

In the US the Dow Jones industrial average was down 123.2 points, or 0.7pc, to 17,445.33, the S&P 500 fell 0.47pc, to 2,069.94 and the Nasdaq Composite gave up 40.79 points, or 0.8pc, to 5,047.84.

Share indices in Frankfurt and Paris tumbled more than 2.5pc, while London's FTSE 100 ended down 1.13pc. In Asia, a broad index of shares outside Japan fell 1.7pc.

Traders and investors said the declines largely came on concerns over sluggish global economic growth triggered by the Chinese equity slump.

Both copper, for which Chinese demand is an important driver, and the broader Thomson Reuters CRB commodities index hit their lowest levels in six years. Copper futures fell another 1pc yesterday. Oil was near four-month lows after the Chinese stock crash fuelled worries that demand there may be cut back.

Irish Independent

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