Thursday, 15 March 2012

China's stocks fall as property curbs stay

China's stock market is having some difficulty getting a sustained recovery going. The Shanghai Composite Index tumbled 2.6 percent on Wednesday even as stock markets in the rest of Asia rose.

The fall in Chinese stocks came after Premier Wen Jiabao said that there would be no relaxation of curbs on the property market. However, China is reportedly easing restrictions on lending capacity at three of the nation’s four biggest banks.

There was a more explicit easing move in Norway on Wednesday. The central bank there cut its key policy rate to 1.50 percent from 1.75 percent, the lowest since late 2009.

Further easing from the ECB appears unlikely for the time being though after a report on Wednesday showed that consumer prices in the euro area rose 2.7 percent in the year to February. Another report showed that industrial production in the euro area rose 0.2 percent in January from the previous month.

Elsewhere in Europe, there was bad news for Britain. Fitch Ratings revised down its outlook on Britain's AAA rating to negative on Wednesday. This comes as another report on Wednesday showed the unemployment rate holding at a 16-year high of 8.4 percent in the three months to January.

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