South Africa's rand recoups losses after Chinese data, remains vulnerable
16 Apr 2014 | 2:13 am
The rand firmed against the dollar on Wednesday after Chinese growth came in just above expectations, but it failed to take big strides as the data was not enough to quell fears about a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy. Investors are also waiting for domestic retail sales data due at 1100 GMT, which will give a clue about the growth prospects in South Africa's struggling economy.
China economic growth slows to 18-month low in first-quarter
16 Apr 2014 | 1:29 am
By Adam Rose and Xiaoyi Shao BEIJING (Reuters) - China's economy grew at its slowest pace in 18 months at the start of 2014, but did a touch better than expected and showed some improvement in March, suggesting Beijing will not rush to follow up recent steps to support activity. The economy grew 7.4 percent in the January-March quarter from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday. It was China's slowest annual growth since the third quarter of 2012, when the world's second-largest economy also grew 7.4 percent. "The slowdown of China's economy is a reflection of a transformation of the economic mode," said Sheng Laiyun, of the National Bureau of Statistics.
Asian shares up on China relief, Softbank stars
16 Apr 2014 | 1:16 am
By Wayne Cole SYDNEY (Reuters) - Asian share markets made broad gains on Wednesday after China reported economic growth a touch above forecasts, a relief for investors who had feared a much weaker outcome. China's economy grew 7.4 percent in the first quarter, from a year earlier, pipping forecasts of 7.3 percent. Other data for March were mixed with industrial output a shade under estimates, but retail sales picking up. "Momentum in both industrial production and retail sales already appears to have started to pick up in March and policy fine tuning is likely to help as well." "This should be positive for the Chinese share market which with a forward PE of 8.5 times is priced for a hard landing and credit crisis." The relief rippled through regional markets with Japan's Nikkei adding to early gains to be up a solid 2.5 percent.
China's growth slows to 7.4 percent in 1Q
16 Apr 2014 | 1:11 am
BEIJING (AP) — China's economic growth slowed further in the latest quarter but appeared strong enough to satisfy Chinese leaders who are trying to put the country on a more sustainable path without politically dangerous job losses.
ECB plan could boost shares in Europe's weakest companies
16 Apr 2014 | 1:07 am
By Francesco Canepa LONDON (Reuters) - Shares in some of Europe's least profitable and most indebted companies are set to outperform in the coming months if the European Central Bank starts buying corporate bonds to fight the threat of deflation. The ECB has opened the door to the purchase of asset-backed securities such as secured corporate debt to revive economic activity in the euro zone, a move expected to give fresh impetus to a 20 percent rally in European shares since June. Buying corporate debt would lower borrowing costs where they are still elevated, such as in southern Europe, bringing relief to companies struggling with high debt piles and meager profits, such as Italian and Spanish banks and French car maker Peugeot . "The companies that tend to benefit from QE are those with very low levels of profits and high financial leverage because, ultimately, QE stimulates growth," Francesco Curto, a strategist at Deutsche Bank, said.
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