Asian Shares Fall on Renewed Jitters Over Global Economy

by Jonathan Adams

Asian stock markets extended losses Tuesday as investors fretted over the fragile outlook for global growth and the Federal Reserve’s plan to raise U.S. interest rates soon.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.7 percent to 19,502.88 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 1.4 percent to 22,404.30. The Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.5 percent to 3,627.97 and South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.8 percent to 2,009.13. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.9 percent to 5,074.40. Markets in Southeast Asia were mostly lower.

GLOBAL OUTLOOK: A report by The Conference Board projects global GDP growth of 2.8 percent in 2016, barely better than the 2.5 percent expected this year and well below the 4 percent-plus rates of the late 2000s. It also warned that downside risks could sink global growth to as low as 1.9 percent.

THE QUOTE: “In what is now a regular event, global markets sunk overnight and are pricing the worst of the U.S. and China. According to this view, China continues to weaken toward implosion, but not far or fast enough to head off a lift in US rates,” Michael McCarthy of CMC Markets said in a commentary.

RATE RIDDLE: Unexpectedly strong jobs data for October have reinforced expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise short-term interest rates at its December. The Fed’s benchmark rate has been close to zero since the 2008 financial crisis. Low interest rates have been a boon for stock markets for several years.

WALL STREET: The Dow Jones industrial average lost 179.85 points, or 1 percent, to 17,730.48, slipping back into negative territory for the year. The Standard & Poor’s 500 lost 20.62 points, or 1 percent, to 2,078.58. The Nasdaq composite fell 51.82 points, or 1 percent, to 5,095.30.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude was up 18 cents to $44.05 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost 42 cents to $43.87 a barrel on Monday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, climbed 10 cents to $47.29 a barrel. It declined 23 cents to $47.19 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar edged higher to 123.18 yen from 123.15 yen in the previous session. The euro slipped to $1.0747 from $1.0754.

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