Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Gold plunges as markets decline following slower growth in China

Markets tumbled again on Monday, with gold in particular plunging 9.3 percent, its biggest fall since 1980.

Stocks were also hit hard. The S&P 500 fell 2.3 percent, its biggest fall since 7 November.

Weak economic data on Monday contributed to the market declines.

In China, economic growth reportedly slowed to 7.7 per cent in the first quarter from 7.9 percent in the previous quarter.

Fixed-asset investment jumped 20.9 percent in the first quarter from the same period last year. However, this was down from a 21.2 percent increase for the first two months.

Industrial production rose 8.9 percent year-on-year in March and 9.5 per cent for the first quarter as a whole. Retail sales were up 12.6 per cent in March and 12.4 per cent in the first quarter.

US data on Monday were also disappointing. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo index of builder confidence fell to 42, the lowest since October, from 44 in March. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s general economic index fell to 3.1 in April from 9.2 in March.

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