Chinese slowdown rocks global markets

 

A shock slowdown for the world’s second-biggest economy sent tremors through global markets yesterday as fears of an end to China’s breakneck growth mounted.

Beijing said the economy grew at an annual pace of 7.7 per cent between January and March – hugely impressive by the standards of struggling Western rivals, but well below the  8 per cent expected and a slowdown from the 7.9 per cent pace achieved in the final three months of 2012.

Metals and oil were among the biggest victims as the data raised concerns over China’s voracious demand for commodities, sending Brent crude falling more than $2 a barrel to $100.55, the lowest since last July.

Aluminium crashed to its lowest for three and a half years while copper prices also hit an 18-month low – wiping billions off the FTSE 100’s contingent of miners, which make up more than 10 per cent of the index.

The sell-off spread across the Atlantic as the Dow Jones Industrial Average headed lower.

Analysts blamed slowing industrial production for the setback as annual growth of 8.9 per cent fell short of the 10 per cent expected by economists.

ETX market analyst Ishaq Siddiqi said: “The poor China data follows a week after a batch of poor US economic data, reinforcing the markets’ worry that the global recovery could  be derailed.”

The news represents a fresh setback for Chinese premier Xi Jinping, who warned last week that the country’s period of “ultra-high speed growth” was over after a decade of double-digit growth. Ratings agency Fitch cut its credit score on China last week amid worries over a growing credit bubble. The World Bank also cut its 2013 forecast for China this year by 0.1 percentage point, although it still predicts a robust, 8.3 per cent advance.

ING Bank economist Tim Condon warned that market predictions of an 8.1 per cent advance for the year overall now looked too optimistic: “Our forecast was based partly on our view that stronger global growth as the year progressed would support stronger China growth. Today’s data undermines our confidence that the strengthening in global growth will be enough.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

SThree: Talent Acquisition Consultant

£22500 - £27000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Since our inception in 1986, STh...

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map