Global stocks slip as US drop fans angst over global growth

TOKYO – Global markets were mostly lower Wednesday after U.S. stocks took their biggest loss in almost a month, underscoring simmering worries about global economic growth.

KEEPING SCORE: France’s CAC 40 dipped 0.6 per cent to 4,303.63 in early trading, while Germany’s DAX shed 0.2 per cent to 10,121.14. Britain’s FTSE 100 edged down 0.1 per cent to 6,637.85. U.S. shares were set to drift lower, with Dow futures down 0.2 per cent at 18,207. S&P 500 futures were also down 0.2 per cent at 2,147.40.

JAPAN WOES: Disappointment is already setting in over how the substance of Japan’s 28 trillion yen ($272 billion) economic stimulus package falls far short of the hype, given that much of the money is already in the pipeline. A strong yen is also deepening pessimism over prospects for Japan’s recovery.

THE QUOTE: “The forex markets have been in risk-off mode over the past day, as concerns grow about Japan’s woefully limited economic package and as oil prices plunge, stoking fears that global growth is stagnating,” said Stephen Innes, senior trader at Oanda Asia Pacific.

ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 slipped 1.9 per cent to finish at 16,083.11. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 dropped 1.4 per cent to 5,465.70. South Korea’s Kospi lost 1.2 per cent at 1,994.79. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dipped 1.8 per cent to 21,739.12, but the Shanghai Composite inched up 0.2 per cent to 2,978.46.

ENERGY: Oil prices rebounded from their recent plunge. Benchmark U.S. crude added 24 cents to $39.75 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell 55 cents on Wednesday to $39.51 a barrel. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 32 cents to $42.12 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 101.14 yen from 102.60 yen late Tuesday in Asia, while the euro rose to $1.1200 from $1.1172.


AP Markets Writer Marley Jay contributed to this report.

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