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An Asia-Pacific share index came off sessions highs, the dollar firmed and oil slid, pointing to a fresh bout of investor caution.
The Chinese figures showed that industrial output and consumer spending hit the worst levels since the pandemic began, hurt by Covid lockdowns.
Officials are taking measured steps to help the economy: China effectively cut the interest rate for new mortgages over the weekend to bolster an ailing housing market, but the one-year policy loan rate was left unchanged Monday.
In the bond market, the 10-year US yield dropped to 2.91%. A key question is whether economic worries will help stem this year’s Treasury selloff, which has been driven by inflation and tightening US monetary settings.
Cryptocurrencies dipped as the mood in stocks weakened. That took Bitcoin back below the $30,000 level.
The risk of an economic downturn amid price pressures and rising borrowing costs remains the major worry for markets. Many traders remain wary of calling a bottom for equities despite a 17% drop in global shares this year.
“The markets are being defined as volatile, fragile and to some extent unstable,” with bonds again looking like a haven asset adding to an “interesting mix,” Mahjabeen Zaman, Citigroup senior investment specialist, said on Bloomberg Television.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Senior Chairman Lloyd Blankfein urged companies and consumers to gird for a US recession, saying it’s a “very, very high risk.”
The firm’s economists cut their forecasts for US growth this year and next — they now expect the economy to expand 2.4% this year and 1.6% in 2023, down from 2.6% and 2.2% previously.
Food and fuel prices are feeding into rising costs. Wheat jumped by the exchange limit on India’s move to curb exports.
Oil was dented by the Chinese figures but remains in sight of $110 a barrel. Shanghai is close to the necessary threshold for loosening its six-week lockdown, a development that could spur bets on rising energy demand.
Traders are also waiting to see how European markets react to efforts by Finland and Sweden to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The shift in Europe’s security alliance could exacerbate tensions with Russia. European equity futures edged lower.
What to watch this week:
New York Fed President John Williams speaks Monday
Fed Chair Jerome Powell among slate of Fed speakers. Tuesday
Reserve Bank of Australia releases minutes of its May policy meeting. Tuesday
G-7 finance ministers and central bankers meeting. Wednesday
Eurozone, UK CPI. Wednesday
Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker speaks. Wednesday
China loan prime rates. Friday
Some of the main moves in markets:
S&P 500 futures fell 0.6% as of 7:08 a.m. in London. The S&P 500 rose 2.4% Friday
Nasdaq 100 futures fell 0.7%. The Nasdaq 100 rose 3.7% Friday
Japan’s Topix index fell 0.1%
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.3%
South Korea’s Kospi index was little changed
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.2%
China’s Shanghai Composite Index declined 0.4%
Euro Stoxx 50 futures lost 0.4%
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.1%
The euro was at $1.0403, down 0.1%
The Japanese yen was at 128.99 per dollar, up 0.2%
The offshore yuan was at 6.8072 per dollar, down 0.1%
West Texas Intermediate crude fell 1.4% to $108.97 a barrel
Gold was at $1,807.90 an ounce, falling 0.2%
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