Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Markets fall over China anxiety

Japan's Nikkei 225 index has fallen along with other Asian stock markets (AP)

Asian stock markets have fallen amid speculation that China, the region's economic engine, may announce gross domestic product slowed in the second quarter.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index was down 1% to 8,765.38 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng plunged 1.8% at 19,065.66.

South Korea's Kospi slipped 0.7% to 1,813.76. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 0.5% at 4,075.70 and China's Shanghai Composite slid 0.9% to 2,155.43.

Europe's debt crisis and signs of weak growth in the United States are undermining demand for Chinese exports and have investors concerned that a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy could be worsening.

China is scheduled to announce GDP results for the April to June period later, and growth likely slowed to 7.9%, the worst reading since the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis, Singapore's DBS Bank said. China's economy grew 8.1% in the first quarter.

"Growth momentum in China has been clearly decelerating in the second quarter," DBS said in a report.

"Lingering woes in Europe and downward revisions in US growth projections of late point to more challenges ahead for exports."

Equity markets in Asia also fell because the US central bank gave no indication it plans to soon implement another round of Treasury bond purchases known as quantitative easing.

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