KEEPING SCORE: France’s CAC slipped nearly 1 percent in early trading to 5,051.98. Germany‘s DAX was down 0.8 percent at 11,375.79. Britain’s FTSE 100 lost 0.7 percent to 7,005.43. U.S. shares were set to drift lower with Dow futures slipping 0.2 percent at 25,291. S&P 500 futures were down 0.3 percent at 2,720.30.
ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 inched up 0.2 percent to finish at 21,846.48, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 lost 1.7 percent to 5,732.80. South Korea’s Kospi edged down 0.2 percent at 2,068.05. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.5 percent to 25,654.43, while the Shanghai Composite was down nearly 0.9 percent at 2,632.24. Shares were also lower in Thailand and Singapore.
TRADE WORRIES: Fears about global growth continue amid trade tensions between the U.S. and China. Traders drew encouragement from a report out of China saying that country’s top economic adviser might visit Washington ahead of a planned meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump at this month’s Group of 20 gathering in Argentina. The U.S. and China have raised tariffs on billions of dollars of each other’s goods.
CHINA ECONOMY: Factory output and investment edged up in October but analysts said the improvement probably is temporary. Industrial output rose 5.9 percent, up from September’s 5.8 percent rate. Analysts say that is due to exporters rushing to fill U.S. orders before new tariff hikes take effect in January. Other activity cooled.
Retail sales growth decelerated to 8.6 percent over a year ago from September’s 9.2 percent. “The economy has slowed for the past four quarters and is likely to slow for the next four quarters,” Macquarie Group said in a report.
JAPAN ECONOMY: The Japanese economy shrank at an annualized rate of 1.2 percent in July-September, as consumer spending and investment fell, according to government data. Dragging on growth for the world’s third-largest economy was diminished trade, with exports falling 1.8 percent and imports dropping 1.4 percent, in a period hammered with natural disasters including a typhoon that temporarily shut down a major airport.
THE QUOTE: “It’s going to be a bumpy ride for markets,” said Stephen Innes of Oanda in Singapore, referring to global developments over Brexit and dropping oil prices, adding, “all of which suggests significant risk beckons.”
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil dipped 17 cents to $55.52. It plunged 7.1 percent to $55.69 a barrel on Tuesday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, dropped 4 cents to $65.43 a barrel. Oil has now fallen for 12 straight days, driven by worries over rising oil production around the world and weakening demand from developing countries, with expectations for increased supply from the U.S. and OPEC.
CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 113.90 yen from 114.01 late Tuesday in Asia. The euro strengthened to $1.1296 from $1.1252.
By YURI KAGEYAMA, Associated Press