TOKYO (AP) — World stocks lacked momentum on Monday after a report showed China’s economy slowed in the third quarter, but not as much as some were fearing.
KEEPING SCORE: France’s CAC 40 added 0.1 percent to 4,707.42 and Germany’s DAX rose 0.6 percent to 10,167.34. Britain’s FTSE 100 inched down 0.2 percent to 6,364.15. U.S. shares were set for a weak open, with Dow and S&P 500 futures both down 0.2 percent.
CHINA GROWTH: Data released Monday showed that China’s economic growth decelerated in the latest quarter but relatively robust spending by Chinese consumers helped to avert a deeper downturn. The world’s second-largest economy grew by 6.9 percent in the three months ended in September, down from the previous quarter’s 7 percent and the slowest since early 2009 in the aftermath of the global crisis. Growth of 6.8 percent had been forecast by analysts.
ANALYST VIEW: “Although growth may be holding up in national headline figures, north and northeast China are basically having a regional recession with their heavy exposure to commodities and over-capacity secondary industries,” Angus Nicholson, analyst at IG, in a market commentary. “How China lessens some of the strain they are suffering is still an open question for the government.”
ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.9 percent to 18,131.23 and China’s Shanghai Composite Index trimmed early gains to end little changed, losing 0.1 percent to 3,386.70. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was stable, ending up 0.04 percent at 23,075.61 and South Korea’s Kopsi was flat at 2,030.27. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 inched up 0.03 percent to 5,269.70. Other regional benchmarks were mixed, higher in Taiwan and Indonesia, but lower in Thailand and Singapore.
EARNINGS: Investors were also focused on Morgan Stanley’s third quarter earnings, which dropped 42 percent, more than analysts had forecast, as the bank’s bond trading business weakened. The bank earned $940 million excluding payments to preferred shareholders for the three-month period ending in September, compared with $1.63 billion a year earlier. Shares in the bank were down 5 percent in pre-market trading in New York.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude slipped 45 cents to $46.81 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract added 88 cents to close at $47.26 in New York on Friday.
CURRENCIES: The dollar edged up to 119.46 yen from 119.43 yen on Friday. The euro fell to $1.1327 from $1.1348.
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