China reported an unexpected rise in exports this morning, but the news failed to inspire faltering Asian and European markets.
Stocks on major indices across the globe are still struggling as anxious investor sentiment provoked by the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) weak global growth forecast showed no signs of abating.
Last week the IMF cut its global growth forecast for the third time in a year - the global economy is now expected to grow 3.3 per cent in 2014.
Stocks fell on the major European indexes last week after the IMF said the Eurozone had a four in 10 chance of going into recession. Stocks on the FTSE 100, FTSE Eurofirst 300, the Dax and the CAC 40 all opened down this morning.
The last month has also seen stocks in France and Germany falling 10 and 12 per cent respectively.
Unexpected growth in Chinese exports did little to boost investor confidence in Asian markets. Exports in September grew by 15.3 per cent compared to the same month last year, comfortably exceeding analysts’ expectations of a 12 per cent rise. A seven per cent increase in imports also raised eyebrows, beating Bloomberg predictions of a two per cent rise.
The launch of Apple’s new iPhone 6 can take some of the credit for the growth, as millions of models have been manufactured in the iPhone factory in Zhengzhou. Last month researchers at Bank of America Merrill Lynch said the new smartphone could boost China’s exports by one per cent by the end of the year.
The IMF's most recent growth forecast for China remained unchanged at 0.74 per cent, one of the slowest rates the country has reported for years.
A Japanese public holiday meant the Tokyo Stock Exchange and the Nikkei stayed closed, but the rest of the Asia-Pacific region hasn’t been so lucky with drops across the board.
The main indexes in Dubai and Saudi Arabia also dropped by 6.5 per cent in trading yesterday.
Here’s how the key Asian Pacific markets are getting on at pixel time today:
- The Hong Kong Hang Seng Index is up 0.24 per cent to 23,143 points.
- South Korea’s Kospi is down 0.71 per cent to 1,927 points.
- The Shanghai Stock Exchange composite index is down 0.36 per cent to 2,366 points.
- The S&P/ASX 200 in Sydney is down 0.63 per cent to 5,155 points.
Markets in Europe have recovered slightly in early morning trading:
- The FTSE 100 is up 0.43 per cent to 6,367 points.
- The FTSE Eurofirst 300 is down 0.32 per cent to 1,297 points.
- The CAC 40 in Paris is up 0.31 per cent to 4,086 points.
- The DAX is up 0.58 per cent to 8,839 points.