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Anxiety over Chinese growth weighs on markets

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Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao has projected China's economy will grow a weaker than usual 7.5% in 2012 at the start of an annual parliamentary session in Beijing. Meanwhile in Europe, anxiety about Greece's debt crisis continued to weigh on investors.

By morning trading, London's FTSE had fallen 0.51%, the German DAX had edged down 1.20% and the French CAC 40 had depreciated 0.78%. The euro slipped 0.02% to $1.3188 and the British pound depreciated 0.18% to $1.5808.

Overnight, the Shanghai Composite ( YAO , quote ) slid 0.64%. Prime Minister Wen Jiabao's estimate for economic growth of 7.5% in 2012 is below the 8% annual growth China has long projected and the 9.2% and 10.4% growth it enjoyed in 2011 and 2010, respectively.

Analysts, however, say that as China prepares for a leadership change in the coming year, maintaining sustainable growth with stimulus will be the government's priority.

The prospect of decreased demand for commodities from China increased pressure on Australian stocks ( EWA , quote ), which dipped 0.23%. Miners BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto saw their shares fall 0.84% and 1.27%, respectively.

The Nikkei ( EWJ , quote ) dropped 0.80%. Japanese exporters fared poorly, with Sony and Panasonic stock sliding 3.32% and 2.16%, respectively.

Seoul's KOSPI ( EWY , quote ) took a hit of 0.91%. In Singapore, shares ( EWS , quote ) were down 0.06%.

The Chinese yuan rose 0.13% to 6.3062 to the dollar, while the Japanese yen depreciated 0.73% to 81.18 against the greenback.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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