Dec 12, 2014 7:28 AM
China and oil prices weigh on markets
The Associated Press
LONDON (AP) Renewed signs of weakness in China's economy and the slide in oil prices weighed on global stock markets Friday.
KEEPING SCORE: Britain's FTSE 100 sank 1.3 percent to 6,376, while Germany's DAX fell 1.1 percent to 9,753. France's CAC 40 declined 1.4 percent to 4,166. Wall Street was poised for a lower opening, with Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures down 0.6 percent.
CHINA DATA: China was a source of concern in markets after figures showed factory output growth declined to 7.2 percent in November from 7.7 percent growth in October. The data came after Chinese leaders at an annual planning meeting affirmed their commitment to the "new normal" of slower growth as they try to steer China toward a more sustainable expansion based on domestic consumption.
OIL WEIGHS TOO: Uncertainty over oil prices was another factor weighing on markets too especially after the International Energy Agency said global oil demand in 2015 will grow by 900,000 barrels a day, 230,000 less than previously forecast, to 93.3 million.
Following its report, the benchmark New York oil price slipped further below $60 a barrel to fresh five-year lows. In late morning trading in London, it was 72 cents lower at $59.23. Brent, the international standard, was 74 cents lower at $62.94.
The agency also dampened expectations that the fall in oil prices will automatically be a boon for the global economy. "The adverse impact of the oil price rout on oil-exporting economies looks likely to offset, if not exceed, the stimulus it could provide for oil-importing countries against a backdrop of weak economic growth and low inflation," the IEA said.
ANALYST TAKE: "The sell-off in equity markets shows no sign of abating, and the risk-off mentality looks to be firmly imbedded in traders' minds," said Alastair McCaig, market analyst at IG.
ASIA'S DAY: Gains in some Asian markets narrowed in the afternoon. Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 0.7 percent to 17,371.58 and South Korea's Kospi added 0.3 percent to 1,921.71. China's Shanghai Composite climbed 0.4 percent to 2,938.17. Stocks in Southeast Asia also rose but Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.2 percent to 5,219.60. Hong Kong's Hang Seng erased earlier gains closing down 0.3 percent at 23,249.20.
CURRENCIES: The dollar gave up some recent ground, with the euro up 0.4 percent at $1.2450. The dollar was also 0.3 percent lower at 118.50 yen.