BANGKOK (AP) — World stock markets fell Wednesday, hit by slower U.S. hiring and reports of tighter money market conditions in China that could check its economic recovery.
Weaker-than-expected U.S. job creation in September was a mixed cue for markets. On the plus side, it boosted the case for a full-strength continuation of the Federal Reserve's super-easy monetary policy that has boosted investment in stocks worldwide. On the downside, it suggests U.S. demand for exports will continue to be subdued, which could hurt company earnings.
The Labor Department reported that 148,000 jobs were created in September, below the consensus among analysts for around 180,000. Following revisions to back data, it means that the U.S. economy added an average of 143,000 jobs a month from July through September, down from 182,000 from April through June.
Sentiment in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan was hurt by reports the central bank refrained from injecting funds into money markets, pushing up short-term lending rates.
Markets were also down in Europe where Britain's FTSE 100 dropped 0.4 percent to 6,668.81. Germany's DAX fell 0.4 percent to 8,912.97 and France's CAC-40 tumbled 0.6 percent to 4,269.70.
Futures pointed to a retreat on Wall Street too. Dow futures were down 0.4 percent and broader S&P 500 futures lost 0.5 percent.
In Asia, China's Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.3 percent to 2,183.11 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 1.4 percent to 23,999.95. Taiwan's benchmark dropped 0.3 percent to 8,393.62.
China's economic growth rebounded to 7.8 percent in the third quarter but inflation and house prices have also risen, creating a balancing act for policymakers who want to shift the economy to growth driven by consumption rather than investment and exports.
Japan's Nikkei 225 tumbled 2 percent to 14,426.05 as the yen gained against the U.S. dollar, which can hurt sales and profits at Japanese exporters.
Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.3 percent to 5,356.10.
In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude for December delivery was down 78 cents at $97.53 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1.38 to $98.30 on Tuesday.
The dollar fell to 97.26 yen from 98.13 yen late Tuesday. The euro fell to $1.3755 from $1.3777.