Asian markets in the red; China registers 9.1% growth

<p>Asian markets were mostly lower today with the Hang Seng Index leading the decline. The Australian market wasn’t far behind, down by over 2% its […]</p>

Asian markets were mostly lower today with the Hang Seng Index leading the decline. The Australian market wasn’t far behind, down by over 2% its close.

Markets were not only dragged lower by offshore leads but also on news that China’s growth was below expectations. China’s economy grew 9.1 per cent in the third quarter from a year earlier, the slowest pace since 2009, driving stocks lower on concern that Europe’s debt crisis is dragging on the global recovery. The rise was slightly below market estimates of 9.2% and is the lowest quarterly increase since mid 2009 – at the height of the global financial crisis.

The Chinese growth rate is still very strong, relative to other large economies, but the moderation in growth over the next few months could see some earnings downgrades on equities, particularly in the resource and energy space.

Iron ore is a perfect example, with prices expected to peak off record high levels. Fortescue Metals was one of the largest regional losers today, down by around 9.2%. Fortescue is a pure play iron ore producer in Western Australia.

Markets will be keenly watching the reaction to the Chinese numbers in the U.S. overnight. Key companies due to report tonight include Coca Cola, Bank of America, Apple and Yahoo as reporting season ramps up.

Economic data to be released in the U.S. tonight includes September PPI and the NAHB housing market index. Tomorrow night will see September CPI, housing starts, building permits and the Fed’s beige book for October. Asian traders will be keenly eyeing all these prints.

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