World stocks down as stimulus jitters continue to mount

World stock markets extended losses on Thursday after an apparent budget deal in the US Congress reinforced expectations the Federal Reserve will cut its monetary stimulus as early as next week.

By (AP)

Published: Fri 13 Dec 2013, 10:13 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 5:20 PM

In Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 0.4 per cent to 6,479.49. Germany’s DAX shed 0.4 per cent to 9,044.86 and France’s CAC-40 was nearly flat at 4,086.31.

Futures suggested Wall Street would eke out gains after disappointing earnings from a handful of US companies pushed the stock market to its biggest loss in five weeks on Wednesday. Dow Jones and S&P 500 futures were both up 0.1 per cent.

US lawmakers look set to agree on a modest US budget agreement that restores about $63 billion in across-the-board automatic spending cuts and would help prevent another partial shutdown of the US government. The 16-day shutdown in October crimped economic growth and hurt consumer confidence.

Mizuho Bank Ltd in Singapore said the budget deal, coupled with a strong run of US economic data, raised the probability of the Fed cutting, or tapering, its $85 billion of monthly bond purchases when it meets December 17-18.

“December taper still remains on the table though not our base scenario. We maintain our view that the Fed would need more data to confirm that the economy is strengthening. As such, we think taper could more likely start in March 2014,” it said in a market commentary.

The stimulus has kept US interest rates low to encourage economic recovery, and sent a flood of money into stock markets worldwide in search of higher returns. Its potential pullback has jolted markets and added to nervousness in emerging nations about sudden capital outflows.

Some analysts also said the budget deal doesn’t prevent another standoff among lawmakers over the debt ceiling, which has to be raised by early February if the US is to avoid defaulting on its debt.

Earlier in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 lost 1.1 per cent at 15,341.82 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 0.5 per cent to 23,218.12. China’s Shanghai Composite eased 0.1 per cent to 2,202.80. Markets were also down in Australia, India, Taiwan and Southeast Asia.

The euro fell to $1.3775 from $1.3784 late Wednesday. The dollar rose to 102.77 yen from 102.48 yen.

More news from Markets