By Associated Press and Marketwatch
Asian markets were lower on Tuesday after the International Monetary Fund trimmed its global outlook for 2019 and 2020. The downgrade came after China said its economy grew at the slowest pace in 30 years in the last quarter of 2018. Wall Street was closed for a holiday on Monday.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 index /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +2.41% shed 0.5% and the Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 -2.80% in South Korea was down 0.6%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +1.59% lost 0.9%. The Shanghai Composite index /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP +1.21% fell 0.7%, as did the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598015/delayed CN:399106 +2.42% . Australia’s S&P ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +1.74% slipped 0.4%. Shares fell in Taiwan and Singapore /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI +0.98% .
Among individual stocks, convenience store chain FamilyMart surged in Tokyo while Dai-ichi Life /zigman2/quotes/208507587/delayed JP:8750 +0.03% and Uniqlo parent Fast Retailing /zigman2/quotes/200663563/delayed JP:9983 +2.71% fell. In Hong Kong, real estate investment companies Wharf /zigman2/quotes/205885756/delayed HK:1997 -1.62% and Link /zigman2/quotes/206625692/delayed HK:823 -2.19% led gainers while tech companies such as AAC /zigman2/quotes/201441510/delayed HK:2018 +1.56% , Sunny Optical /zigman2/quotes/206687505/delayed HK:2382 +3.30% and Tencent /zigman2/quotes/204605823/delayed HK:700 +4.91% dropped. In South Korea, Samsung Electronics /zigman2/quotes/209800866/delayed KR:005930 -3.28% fell, along with chip maker SK Hynix /zigman2/quotes/206420319/delayed KR:000660 -4.71% . In Australia, banking stocks took a hit, with Australia and New Zealand Banking Group /zigman2/quotes/205482049/delayed AU:ANZ +1.60% , Westpac /zigman2/quotes/203084975/delayed AU:WBC +1.55% and National Australia Bank /zigman2/quotes/210431826/delayed AU:NAB +2.03% falling.
On Monday, the International Monetary Fund cut its 2019 global growth estimate to 3.5% from 3.7%, citing trade tensions and rising interest rates. It also revised its estimate for 2020 to 3.6%, down from 3.7%. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, who presented the forecasts at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, said the global economy was growing more slowly than expected amid rising risks. Earlier in the day, China reported its economy expanded by 6.6% in 2018. This was the slowest pace of growth since 1990 and it fueled fears a trade dispute with Washington is putting a drag on the world’s second largest economy.
“Against the backdrop of refreshed woes over growth and U.S. markets having been away for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day, there leaves little to inspire Asia markets,” Jingyi Pan of IG said in a commentary.
U.S. crude was 28 cents lower at $53.76 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract added 3.3% to $54.04 per barrel in New York. Brent crude , used to price international oils, dropped 47 cents to $62.27 per barrel. It closed at $62.74 per barrel in London.
The dollar /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY +0.0150% eased to 109.44 yen from 109.65 yen late Monday.