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China property woes daunting global mkts

Shanghai ended in the green, while Tokyo and Hong Kong settled lower; Trading was closed in South Korea for a holiday; European markets were trading in the negative territory

China property woes daunting global mkts

Tokyo: Global shares were mostly lower on Thursday in subdued trading on looming worries about China property woes.

France’s CAC 40 shed 0.3 per cent to 7,050.19 in early trading. Germany’s DAX slipped 0.4 per cent to 15,164.02. Britain’s FTSE 100 edged down 0.6 per cent to 7,544.91. US shares were set to drift lower with Dow futures down nearly 0.1 per cent at 33,759.00. S&P-500 futures was virtually unchanged at 4,313.00. Trading in shares of heavily indebted Chinese property developer China Evergrande Group was suspended in Hong Kong. That followed media reports that the chairman of Evergrande, Hui Ka Yan, had been taken away earlier this month and placed under police watch. Evergrande is the world’s most heavily indebted real estate developer and is at the centre of a property market crisis that is dragging on China’s economic growth.

“The relatively quiet economic calendar today may lead sentiments on a more subdued tone, while reservations on risk taking may continue to revolve around developments on China’s property sector,” said Yeap Jun Rong, market analyst at IG. The Hang Seng index slid 1.4 per cent to 17,373.03. The Shanghai Composite was up 0.1 per cent to 3,110.48.

Trading was closed in South Korea for a holiday. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 dropped 1.5 per cent to 31,872.52. Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 slipped nearly 0.1 per cent to 7,024.80. After more than a decade in which the Federal Reserve would quickly cut rates in order to help the economy, still-high inflation is now discouraging the Fed from lowering rates. Its main interest rate is already at its highest level since 2001, and the Fed indicated last week it will cut rates in 2024 by less than earlier expected.

A long list of worries is also tugging at financial markets. The most immediate is the threat of another US government shutdown as Capitol Hill threatens a stalemate that could shut off federal services across the country as soon as this weekend. Stock prices have managed through past shutdowns relatively well, but conditions may be a little different this time. Several highly influential reports are supposed to come in the coming weeks.

The next monthly jobs report is due on Oct 6, and two big inflation reports are due the following week. Other threats looming over Wall Street include shaky economies around the world, a strike by US auto workers that could put more upward pressure on inflation and a resumption of US student-loan repayments that could dent spending by households. In energy trading, benchmark US crude slipped 3 cents to $93.65 a barrel. It rallied $3.29 to settle at $93.68 per barrel Wednesday, up from less than $70 in June. It’s threatening to top $100 again for the first time since the summer of 2022. Brent crude, the international standard, was unchanged at $96.55. In currency trading, the US dollar fell to 149.37 Japanese yen from 149.63 yen. The euro cost $1.0518, up from $1.0509. (AP)

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