Slowing growth in China spooks global investors

CHINA’S economy grew 9.1 per cent in the third quarter from a year earlier, its weakest pace since early 2009, and just below market forecasts.

The country’s growth slowed from 9.5 per cent in the second quarter of the year, according to official figures released yesterday.

The bearish news contributed to some sharp drops in commodity prices during yesterday’s trading, and hit stocks in Asia and throughout the world. The MSCI Asia APEX 50 lost over three per cent, while in Japan the Nikkei was down by more than 1.5 per cent.

Gold dropped nearly 1.5 per cent as investors worried about a possible slowdown in China.

And copper – often a bellwether of global economic health, and heavily consumed in China – lost over half a per cent during the day.

Brent crude for December fell below the 50-day moving average to touch a seven-day low of $108.45 in morning trading in the US, yet recovered modestly in later trading.

“Slowing growth in China has given the bears new reasons to roar this morning,” RBC said in a note. “The GDP figure has sparked concerns that Europe’s debt crisis is dragging on the global economy.”