Tuesday, 21 October 2008

China's growth slows, India cuts rate

Even China cannot escape an economic slowdown. From AFP/CNA:

China's economic growth slowed to 9.0 per cent in the third quarter as global financial woes started taking a toll, the government said Monday, signalling it would respond with new stimulus measures.

It was the first time since late 2005 that quarterly growth slipped into single digits, providing the most powerful indication yet that China was not insulated from the international economic downturn.

India sees a slowdown too, and acted accordingly yesterday. From Bloomberg:

The Reserve Bank of India cut its overnight lending rate to 8 percent from 9 percent, according to a statement in Mumbai today. The action came after the bank reduced the cash reserve ratio by 2.5 percentage points to 6.5 percent effective Oct. 11.

However, financial markets were in relatively positive mood on Monday as credit conditions eased. From Reuters:

Short-dated U.S. government debt prices fell on Monday as signs of an incipient thaw in the biggest credit crisis in decades curbed safe-haven demand...

The three-month Treasury bill rate rose to 1.10 percent, its highest late-session level since investment bank Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy on Sept. 15 and up from 0.81 percent late on Friday. The Treasury Department sold $25 billion of 3-month bills at a high rate of 1.25 percent...

Interest rates on three-month dollar funds in London tumbled to 4.05875 percent on Monday from 4.41875 percent on Friday. This was the biggest single-day drop in three-month Libor or London interbank offered rates in the absence of a Fed rate cut since late January.

Stocks did well too, as Bloomberg reports.

The S&P 500 rallied 44.85, or 4.8 percent, to 985.40. The Dow surged 413.21, or 4.7 percent, to 9,265.43, with all 30 of its companies increasing. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 58.74, or 3.4 percent, to 1,770.03. More than five stocks advanced for each that fell on the New York Stock Exchange...

Benchmark indexes extended gains this morning after the Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators unexpectedly rose in September and Bernanke said lawmakers should consider new measures to improve access to credit for consumers, homebuyers and businesses...

Europe's Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index added 3.6 percent, while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 3.8 percent after ING Groep NV received a 10 billion-euro ($13.4 billion) lifeline from the Dutch government and South Korea guaranteed $100 billion of lenders' foreign-currency debts.

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