Growth slowdown concerns in China are the main catalyst for the global equity market weakness. Firstly, China announced that they are raising gasoline and diesel prices that refiners can charge and thus higher prices will flow thru to the consumer. On one hand it reflects some comfort that officials have in the recent drop in CPI but on the other it will have an obvious impact on spending. Secondly, speaking in Australia, an exec of BHP said about China, “steel growth rates will flatten, and they have flattened” but they still see “positive growth out to the middle of the next decade.” Also and exec with Rio said this, “the rate of GDP growth in China is more immediately slowing.” Lastly, an official with the China Assoc of Auto Mfr’s, who has an 8% vehicle sales growth estimate for 2012 said they may not even get to 5% growth. The Shanghai index closed down by 1.4% and copper is at a one week low.
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