Asian markets mostly down as global investors retreat

October 19, 2018: Asian markets sank once again on Friday as the global sell-off intensified, while Chinese growth slowed in the third quarter, adding to concerns about the World's number two economy.

With investors being swiped by a series of problems including rising US interest rates, geopolitical tensions and the China-US trade conflict, they are running to the hills as they seek out safe havens.

Another round of mixed earnings out of Wall Street and expectations that the Federal Reserve will lift borrowing costs for some time also weighed, helping to send all three major indexes in New York sharply lower.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's decision to pull out of a huge investment summit in Saudi Arabia added to the unease as it was the clearest indication yet of the White House distancing itself from Riyadh over the disappearance of a journalist.

Those losses spread to Asia, with a slowdown in China's growth providing further concern.

The economy expanded by 6.5 percent on-year in the third quarter, the weakest rate since 2009.

The numbers were in line with forecasts in an AFP poll but much slower than the 6.7 percent seen in the previous three months, and were hit by the US trade row and a deleveraging drive.

The result is the latest highlighting weakness in China, a crucial driver of global economic growth, with observers predicting the government will unveil fresh support measures following a series of moves earlier this year.

“We expect further escalation of US-China trade tensions going into 2019, which will likely be partially offset by yuan adjustment and more growth-supportive fiscal and monetary policies,” JPMorgan economists led by Zhu Haibin, wrote.

“We expect fiscal and monetary policies to become more growth-supportive, providing a lift to headline GDP growth.”

(APP)

Posted on: 2018-10-19T09:32:00+05:00

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