TOKYO (AP) — World stock markets drifted lower Tuesday after a pessimistic forecast for the world economy added to jitters that stem from the Federal Reserve’s rate hike plans.
KEEPING SCORE: Germany’s DAX was down 0.2 percent at 10,798.78 and France’s CAC 40 shed 0.1 percent to 4,905.89. Britain’s FTSE 100 dropped 0.2 percent to 6,281.20. Futures pointed to a flat start on Wall Street. Dow and S&P 500 futures were both little changed.
GLOBAL OUTLOOK: Investors were spooked by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s warning that slower growth in emerging market economies and world trade has weakened global growth to around 2.9 percent this year. That is well below the long-term average, raising doubts for the near-term outlook.
THE QUOTE: “Global GDP growth will remain lackluster in 2015-17 as the ongoing gradual slowdown in China continues,” Moody’s Investors Service said in a commentary. “Global economic growth will not support significant reductions in government debt or increases in interest rates by major central banks. As a result, authorities lack the ample fiscal and monetary policy buffers usually created at the top of the business cycle, leaving growth and global financial stability particularly vulnerable to shocks for an extended period of time.”
RATE RIDDLE: Unexpectedly strong American jobs data for October have reinforced expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise short-term interest rates at its December. The Fed’s benchmark rate has been close to zero since the 2008 financial crisis. Low interest rates have been a boon for stock markets for several years.
ASIA SCORECARD: Japan’s Nikkei 225 regained lost ground to edge 0.2 percent higher, closing at 19,671.26. But most other regional markets fell. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 1.4 percent to 22,401.70. The Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.2 percent to 3,640.49 and South Korea’s Kospi lost 1.4 percent to 1,996.59. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.4 percent to 5,099.20. Markets in Southeast Asia fell.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude was up 14 cents to $44.01 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost 42 cents to $43.87 a barrel on Monday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 18 cents to $47.01 a barrel. It declined 23 cents to $47.19 a barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar edged higher to 123.24 yen from 123.15 yen on Monday. The euro slipped to $1.0749 from $1.0754.