Asian markets slip on global growth worries
Asian markets were lower on Tuesday after the International Monetary Fund trimmed its global outlook for 2019 and 2020. The downgrade came after China said its economy grew at the slowest pace in 30 years in the last quarter of 2018. Wall Street was closed for a holiday on Monday.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 index NIK, -0.76% shed 0.5% and the Kospi SEU, -0.64% in South Korea was down 0.6%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng HSI, -1.11% lost 0.9%. The Shanghai Composite index SHCOMP, -1.03% fell 0.7%, as did the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite 399106, -1.05% . Australia’s S&P ASX 200 XJO, -0.54% slipped 0.4%. Shares fell in Taiwan Y9999, -0.07% and Singapore STI, -0.45% .
Among individual stocks, convenience store chain FamilyMart 8028, +2.77% surged in Tokyo while Dai-ichi Life 8750, -2.84% and Uniqlo parent Fast Retailing 9983, -0.95% fell. In Hong Kong, real estate investment companies Wharf 1997, +1.58% and Link 0823, +1.65% led gainers while tech companies such as AAC 2018, -5.52% , Sunny Optical 2382, -4.03% and Tencent 0700, -2.00% dropped. In South Korea, Samsung Electronics 005930, -1.87% fell, along with chip maker SK Hynix 000660, -1.79% . In Australia, banking stocks took a hit, with Australia and New Zealand Banking Group ANZ, -1.45% , Westpac WBC, -1.72% and National Australia Bank NAB, -1.28% falling.
On Monday, the International Monetary Fund cut its 2019 global growth estimate to 3.5% from 3.7%, citing trade tensions and rising interest rates. It also revised its estimate for 2020 to 3.6%, down from 3.7%. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, who presented the forecasts at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, said the global economy was growing more slowly than expected amid rising risks. Earlier in the day, China reported its economy expanded by 6.6% in 2018. This was the slowest pace of growth since 1990 and it fueled fears a trade dispute with Washington is putting a drag on the world’s second largest economy.
“Against the backdrop of refreshed woes over growth and U.S. markets having been away for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day, there leaves little to inspire Asia markets,” Jingyi Pan of IG said in a commentary.
U.S. crude CLG9, -0.84% was 28 cents lower at $53.76 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract added 3.3% to $54.04 per barrel in New York. Brent crude LCOH9, -1.20% , used to price international oils, dropped 47 cents to $62.27 per barrel. It closed at $62.74 per barrel in London.
The dollar USDJPY, -0.23% eased to 109.44 yen from 109.65 yen late Monday.
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