SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - Global markets were mostly lower on Thursday with Europe opening lower. Data showed that China’s quarterly growth slowed slightly but was in line with expectations.
KEEPING SCORE: Britain’s FTSE 100 slipped 0.3 percent to 7,517.59 and France’s CAC 40 fell 0.5 percent to 5,359.52. Germany’s DAX declined 0.5 percent to 12,976.24. Futures showed Wall Street was also headed for a lower start. S&P futures fell 0.5 percent to 2,547.80 while Dow futures slipped 0.4 percent to 23,024.00.
ASIA’S DAY: Asian markets finished mostly weaker. Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.4 percent to 21,448.52, while South Korea’s Kospi slipped 0.4 percent to 2,473.06. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index slumped 1.9 percent to 28,159.09 and the Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.3 percent to 3,370.17. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.1 percent to 5,896.10. Stocks in Taiwan and Singapore were higher but elsewhere in Southeast Asia, they were mixed.
CHINA: China’s economy expanded at a 6.8 percent annual pace during the July-September quarter, relatively stable growth but slightly below the previous quarter’s 6.9 percent, government data showed. The latest result gives a boost to the ruling Communist Party that has been trying to steer the world’s second-largest economy to slower, more sustainable growth based on consumer spending rather than exports and investment.
JAPAN TRADE: Customs data show Japan’s trade surplus leaped nearly 38 percent in September from a year earlier, on strong shipments of cars, car parts and machinery to China and the U.S. The upbeat report boosted share prices for manufacturers like Toyota Motor Corp. and Panasonic. However, analysts are forecasting that growth will slow in coming months.
BANK OF KOREA: The Bank of Korea’s policymakers kept its key policy rate at a record low 1.25 percent. The central bank slightly revised upward its forecast for growth in Asia’s fourth-largest economy, to 3 percent this year.
OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 79 cents to $51.47 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 15 cents to settle at $52.26 a barrel on Wednesday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 69 cents to $57.47 per barrel in London. It gained 27 cents to close at $58.15 a barrel on Wednesday.
CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 112.64 yen from 112.93 yen. The euro fell to $1.1787 from $1.1788.