China worries hit Asian stocks

China worries hit Asian stocks

Asian stock markets slid today over worries about slower economic growth in China and a possible snag in the deal for Greece to get its bailout money.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index dropped 0.8% to 9,619.59 and South Korea's Kospi shed 1.3% to 1,990.90.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 1.5% to 20,944.54 and mainland China's Shanghai Composite Index fell 1% to 2,417.29.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 retreated 1.2% to 4,210.90. Benchmarks in Taiwan and Singapore also fell.

Investors continued to be pessimistic following premier Wen Jiabao's announcement at the start of the national legislature's annual session yesterday that China, a key driver of the world economy, is lowering its economic growth target to 7.5% from the 8% level it has stood at for years.

The target underlines China's emphasis on better, not faster, growth.

Mr Wen's announcement is cause "for some concern that China might not roll out so many pro-growth policies in the near future", said Jackson Wong, a vice president at Tanrich Securities.

Greece's long-running debt crisis also weighed on the markets because of worries not enough investors will swap their Greek government bonds for new ones that are worth less and pay lower interest.

Greece will learn by Thursday night what percentage of private creditors will participate in the bond swap.

Without the debt relief, Greece will not get a second, €130bn international bailout and would face a default on its debts.

"Before the close of business Thursday, we really don't know whether it's going to be a go," said Mr Wong. "So it just seems not to be very wise to get into market at this point."

More in this Section

Heathrow branded ‘massive gravy train’ as Aer Lingus boss slams expansion costsHeathrow branded ‘massive gravy train’ as Aer Lingus boss slams expansion costs

22% of Irish people unable to afford a holiday this year22% of Irish people unable to afford a holiday this year

Hostelworld issues profit warning after disappointing summer bookingsHostelworld issues profit warning after disappointing summer bookings

Hi-tech marketing firm opens Dublin office with view to employing 200Hi-tech marketing firm opens Dublin office with view to employing 200


Lifestyle

Triathlete Carolyn Hayes is flat out. Since October 2018, she’s literally been racing around the world.On the treble: Triathlete Carolyn Hayes goes flat out to win a place in the Olympics

Children starting or going back to school is a reminder of how we all need an energy boost when sitting at a desk for hours, no matter what our age.Energy fix: Top 8 snacks for children

A sommelier shares her top tips.The dos and don’ts of serving wine – you just might have been doing it all wrong

It’s that time of year again; the long summer days are numbered, summer’s lease is all too short as she takes her last few breaths.Learning Points: Top tips on coping with back to school stress for you and the kids

More From The Irish Examiner