World stocks take China slowdown in stride

A pedestrian walks past the electronic stock quotation board at the window of a security company in central Tokyo on Oct. 21, 2014.


TOKYO - European stocks were higher and Asian markets meandered Tuesday after China's third quarter growth report pointed to a gradual rather than sharp economic slowdown.

In Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.3 percent to 6,287.87 and Germany's DAX gained 0.6 percent to 8,766.35. The CAC-40 in France climbed 0.8 percent to 4,024.92. Futures pointed to gains on Wall Street. Dow and S&P 500 futures were both up.

The world's second biggest economy expanded 7.3 percent from a year earlier in the third quarter, slowing from 7.5 percent in the previous quarter. Markets took some solace in the fact growth was better than forecasts of 6.9 percent to 7.2 percent. The modest deceleration is unlikely to convince China's leaders to embark on a massive stimulus effort on top of their targeted measures earlier in the year.

"The upshot is that although (China's) growth has slowed, it reflects a welcome rebalancing away from excess investment in certain sectors of the economy and is not cause for significant concern," said economist Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics. "With policymakers now prioritizing employment and economic rebalancing over growth, we don't think they will feel the need to act aggressively to shore up the economy in response to today's data."

Japan's Nikkei 225 was down 2.0 percent at 14,804.28 following a 4 percent surge on Monday fueled by expectations of government pension fund buying of shares. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.1 percent to 23,088.58 while China's Shanghai Composite slipped 0.7 percent to 2,339.66. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.1 percent to 5,325. Seoul's Kospi dropped 0.8 percent to 1,915.28. Markets in Southeast Asia were mixed and India's benchmark rose.

The recent plunge in oil prices is sharpening concerns over the global economy but energy trading was relatively subdued Tuesday. Benchmark U.S. crude was up 63 cents to $82.55 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The euro rose to $1.2809 from $1.2795 late Monday. The dollar dropped to 106.59 yen from 106.95 yen.