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Sunday, 12 October 2014

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Asian stocks trade lower after IMF downgrades

Asian markets headed lower, following Wall Street's cue, after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut its global growth forecasts. The IMF slashed its outlook for the third time this year, due to weakness in core eurozone countries, Japan, and emerging markets such as Brazil.

In Japan, the benchmark Nikkei 225 was down 1.4% at 15,569.3 points. But, investors pushed up the yen in safe-haven trade, as it strengthened to a three-week high against the dollar.

The euro slipped to its lowest level in a month against the yen, at 136.56, after German data showed industrial output in August fell 4% compared with the previous months.

That marked the biggest decline since the height of the financial crisis.

"Weak numbers like the German production report fuel concern that European Central Bank stimulus will be inadequate given the gloomier news," said Westpac analyst James Shugg.

Hong Kong shares opened lower, ending three consecutive days of gains.

The Hang Seng index fell 0.8%, losing 200.76 points to 23,243.57. Meanwhile, mainland China shares resumed trading on Wednesday after a week-long national holiday.

Bucking the trend, the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index opened up 0.1% to 2,367.06.

In Australia, shares followed the global trend. The S and P/ASX200 index fell 1% following Tuesday's lower close after the country's reserve bank kept interest rates at a record low of 2.5% to boost the economy.

In South Korea, shares inched lower following a seven-day losing streak. The benchmark Kospi index was down 0.1%.

- BBC

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