Global stocks close lower after Chinese data
AP and AFP
May 20, 2014, 12:06 am TWN
BEIJING/HONG KONG--Global stocks were mostly lower Monday after a subdued increase in Chinese house prices fanned fears of weakness in the world's No. 2 economy.
The Chinese government is trying to restrain housing costs that have surged in recent years with lending and other curbs. But any weakness in sales prompts fears of repercussions for other industries and possible debt problems if developers default on loans. The Chinese data comes on top of weaker-than-expected economic growth in Europe.
"There could be concerns about increased risks of a hard landing in the property market," said Mizuho Bank in a report.
In Europe, Germany's DAX shed 0.8 percent to 9,548.82 and France's CAC 40 dropped 0.7 percent to 4,425.71. Britain's FTSE 100 lost 0.6 percent to 6,814.49.
Futures pointed to losses on Wall Street. Dow and S&P 500 futures were both down 0.4 percent.
"The surge in machinery orders in March suggests that the recovery in business investment remains on track," said Marcel Theliant of Capital Economics in a report.
Investors are looking ahead to meetings on Tuesday of the U.S. Federal Reserve and on Wednesday of the Bank of Japan,