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June 27, 2017

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Global rally falters on China growth numbers

LONDON, United Kingdom -- A global stocks rally stuttered Wednesday as dealers mulled Chinese growth numbers, ahead of the final U.S. presidential debate and on the eve of a eurozone interest rate decision.

London equities lost 0.2 percent, while Frankfurt and Paris each shed 0.1 percent in value.

Europe was handed an underwhelming session from Asia, where Shanghai finished flat and Hong Kong dipped, while Tokyo, Sydney and Singapore found higher ground.

China's economy grew 6.7 percent in the third quarter or July-September, compared with a year earlier, data showed Wednesday.

That matched the annual clip from both the first and second quarters, and chimed with expectations — but raised eyebrows among some analysts.

"Equities are back in the red as investors digest suspiciously stable China GDP growth, whilst gearing up for another round of Trump versus Clinton — and pondering what Mario Draghi and his European Central Bank will do," said Mike van Dulken, research boss at traders Accendo Markets.

Democrat Hillary Clinton and her Republican rival Donald Trump wade into their last presidential debate later Wednesday, with the latter sliding in opinion polls amid allegations of sexual misconduct and wild charges of a "rigged" U.S. election.

Dealers will also be keenly following an ECB meeting on Thursday after speculation it is considering tapering its vast quantitative easing (QE) stimulus.

Despite the chatter, some analysts expect it to maintain its easing programme and possibly flag fresh measures in December.

China's latest growth figures meanwhile came as some relief following a years-long slowdown in China that has been a major drag on economies from Asia to the Americas.

While that figure is within the government's target of 6.5-7.0 percent for the year, it compares to the 6.9 percent annual rate in 2015, the slowest pace in a quarter of a century.

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