Gold sank to its weakest in two years and oil and copper hit multi-month lows as disappointing Chinese data signaled a setback for the global economy.
Falling factory output and investment hit first-quarter GDP growth – down from 7.9 pc but still above Beijing’s 7.5 pc target, guardian.co.uk informs. China’s economic recovery stumbled unexpectedly in the first three months of 2013, forcing analysts to start slashing full-year forecasts despite official insistence that the outlook was favourable. Commodities from crude oil to copper, wheat and corn all fell after the data, share prices were knocked lower and the Australian dollar slid as investors repriced expectations of import demand from China.
A 0.1 pc downgrade of the World Bank’s 2013 China growth forecast to 8.3 pc following last week’s cut to the global trade outlook from the World Trade Organisation was a further blow to economists anticipating that broadly brighter global economic data in the first three months of 2013 would underpin China’s recovery.Sheng Laiyun, a spokesman at the National Bureau of Statistics, which released GDP in a flurry of other data on Monday, said: “China’s economic fundamentals haven’t changed. We are confident about future growth and optimistic about achieving this year’s growth target.” China has set a 7.5 pc GDP growth target for 2013, a level Beijing believes will create sufficient jobs while providing room to deliver structural reforms the government – and international policy advisers – believe are necessary to put growth on a more sustainable long-term footing.Gold sank to its weakest in two years and oil and copper hit multi-month lows as investors sold off commodities for a second day on Monday, worried that central banks will pull the plug on stimulus and as disappointing Chinese data signaled a setback for the global economy, wsj.com informs.Gold fell more than 3 percent, after sliding 5.3 percent on Friday, as investors further slashed their bullion holdings on concern that central banks are bent on halting stimulus measures this year, cutting gold’s appeal as a hedge against inflation. Brent crude dropped more than USD 2 to a session low of USD 100.84, the lowest since July. U.S. crude fell to a bottom of USD 88.46, its weakest level this year. London copper slid to a near 10-month low of USD 7,273 a tonne, while rubber futures in Tokyo and Shanghai dropped between 5 and 7 percent.