News Column

China Bank's Tough Love Slaps Global Markets

June 24, 2013
People's Bank of China (photo: Yongxinge, Creative Commons)
People's Bank of China (photo: Yongxinge, Creative Commons)

The People's Bank of China's tough-love response to rising interest rates jolted global markets Monday.

The central bank said there was enough liquidity for the financial to handle rising lending rates, which was one way of saying it was not going to increase available cash to combat rising rates.

Benchmark inter-bank lending in China briefly topped 13.44 percent before settling down to 6.48 percent Monday.

Investors reading between the lines understood the bank's message to mean that China's new leadership was guiding a slowdown in the country's economic growth as it deals with a recession in Europe and attempts to increase domestic demand.

China's Shanghai composite index dropped 5.3 percent Monday. The Shenzhen composite index dropped 6.1 percent.

Markets were down in Hong Kong, Japan and across Europe.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average shed 39.66 points, 0.27 percent, to 14,759.74.

The Nasdaq lost 16.21 points, or 0.48 percent, to close at 3,341.04.

The Standard & Poor's 500 gave up 7.89 points, or 0.5 percent, to finish at 1,584.54.

Although losses were not steep, they were extremely broad. Only 142 stocks advanced, while 2,517 declined on a volume of a total volume of 4.3 billion shares.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index lost 1.26 percent, 167.35 points, to close at 13,062.78.

Britain's FTSE 100 index dropped 1.42 percent, or 87.07 points to 6,029.10.

The 10-year treasury note yielded 2.529 percent.

On currency markets, the euro dropped to $1.3136. Against the yen, the dollar was lower at 97.69 yen.

Gold lost $4.50, or 0.35 percent, to $1,287.50 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange's Comex division, while silver gave up 20.9 cents, or 1.05 percent, to $19.75 an ounce.

Crude oil prices climbed to $95.11 per barrel in after-hours trading. on the York Mercantile Exchange.

On the Chicago Board of Trade, December corn finished off 8 3/4 cents at $5.47 1/2, November soybeans added 1/2 cents to $12.74 and wheat for July contracts shed 19 cents to $6.79 with conditions varied across the country -- too wet in the western half of the corn belt and better off in the eastern half.

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Source: Copyright UPI 2013