World markets digest China manufacturing weakness

PUBLISHED : Monday, 01 July, 2013, 4:59pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 04 July, 2013, 2:45pm


BEIJING (AP) — Global stocks swung between gains and losses Monday after China's manufacturing weakened in June amid a credit crunch.

Tokyo's Nikkei 225 rose 1.3 percent to 13,852.50 while China's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.8 percent to 1,998.24 after spending much of the day in negative territory. Taipei, Seoul and Sydney declined, while Hong Kong was closed for a holiday.

In Europe, Germany's DAX was 0.2 percent higher at 7,975.12 and Paris's CAC-40 rose 0.2 percent to 3,746.27. Britain's FTSE 100 was up 0.4 percent at 6,266.70.

Wall Street was set to gain with Dow futures up 0.6 percent at 14,914. S&P 500 futures added 0.6 percent to 1,608.70.

Separate reports Monday by HSBC Corp. and a Chinese industry group showed China's manufacturing decelerated in June for a second month.

U.S. and European orders for Chinese goods weakened and Beijing tried to slow rapid credit growth. That effort led to a cash shortage in Chinese credit markets and caused interest rates on loans by banks to other banks to spike.

"The risk is now predominantly on the downside, especially after the recent liquidity squeeze in the interbank market," said IHS economist Xianfang Ren in a report. "The Chinese economy is far from out of the woods yet."

Adding to signs that China's Communist leaders are prepared to accept lower growth, President Xi Jinping was quoted Saturday by state media as saying officials shouldn't be judged solely on increasing economic output.

In Australia, where a boom fueled by Chinese demand for iron ore, copper and coal is cooling, Sydney's ASX/S&P 200 lost 1.9 percent to 4,710.30.

"Wage growth and job security in the mining industry is going to be under pressure, and the current status quo is going to change as mining companies adjust to a slower China," Evan Lucas of IG Markets said in a report.

Taiwan's Taiex shed 0.3 percent to 8,036 while South Korea's Kospi fell 0.4 percent to 1,855.73. Singapore, Bangkok and Manila gained while Jakarta and New Zealand declined.

In the United States, the Federal Reserve is trying to calm jittery investors' concerns about the central bank's planned reduction in monthly purchases of financial assets. Those purchases, dubbed quantitative easing, are aimed at stimulating the economy by pushing down market interest rates, and investors worry any pullback could depress growth.

Investors in Japan have been cheered by figures showing industrial production rose 2 percent in May while the consumer price index stopped falling for the first time in seven months. The Bank of Japan is engaged in a massive monetary stimulus to reverse a two-decade-old bout of deflation. On Monday, a survey showed business confidence of major manufacturers turned positive for the first time in nearly two years.

HSBC's monthly purchasing managers' index for China declined to 48.2 points from May's 49.2 on a 100-point scale on which numbers below 50 show a contraction. A separate measure by the state-sanctioned China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing declined to 50.1 from May's 50.8.

Benchmark oil for August delivery was up 2 cents at $96.58 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In currency markets, the dollar gained to 99.54 yen from 99.11 yen late Friday. The euro rose to $1.3040 from $1.3013.