World stocks down on China hike fears, Europe woes
BANGKOK: World markets were lower Tuesday as Chinese shares slid on fears of an interest rate hike and the European Union's bailout of Ireland failed to convince investors the continent's debt crisis has been contained.
Oil prices hovered below $86 a barrel in Asia as traders looked to U.S. supply reports for clues about the strength of demand for crude. In currencies, the dollar was down against the yen and higher versus the euro.
European markets largely fell in early trading. Britain's FTSE 100 was up 0.1 percent to 5,555.22. Germany's DAX was down 0.1 percent at 6,694.30 and France's CAC-40 slipped 0.3 percent to 3,624.61. Wall Street was set to open lower, with Dow futures down 0.3 percent to 11,007. Chinese shares trimmed some losses after volatile trading that took the Shanghai benchmark down 3.4 percent in the morning on worries over fresh inflation-fighting measures. The Shanghai Composite Index closed down 1.6 percent to 2,820.18. The Shenzhen Composite Index for China's smaller, second exchange fell 2.4 percent to 1,307.83. Soaring prices in China, the world's No. 2 economy, are so far limited mostly to food, but analysts say price pressure could spread to other areas unless Beijing hikes interest rates and further tightens credit. Investors worry that might slow economic growth or reduce the amount of money flowing through the economy that is helping to finance stock trading. "There is a little nervousness about how hard the policymakers will have to slam on the brakes to contain inflation," said David Cohen, an economist with Action Economics in Singapore. -Ap
MADRID: British Airway's Chief Executive Wille Walsh, centre left and Iberia's Chairman Antonio Vazquez, centre right, shake hands flanked by cabin crew from the two airlines before a joint British Airways and Iberia news conference in Madrid on Tuesday. The two airlines revealed in London and Madrid that more than 99 percent of investors had voted in favour of merger. -Afp