China Stocks Fall on Slowing Growth Concerns

Chinese shares dropped from a five-week high amid concern slowing economic growth and new initial public offerings will curb demand for existing shares. Australia’s dollar jumped as the central bank left rates unchanged, while oil traded near $50 a barrel in New York.

The Shanghai Composite Index slid 0.9 percent by 12:37 p.m. in Tokyo, retreating for the first time in four days. About five stocks fell for every four that rose on the MSCI Asia Pacific Index, which is trading near levels last seen in September. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures slipped 0.1 percent after the U.S. gauge hit a record. The Aussie strengthened 0.6 percent to 78.11 U.S. cents. U.S. oil rose 0.7 percent to $49.93.

Almost $3 trillion has been added to the value of global equities since the European Central Bank announced an expanded bond buying program in January, as policy makers from China to Russia and Canada cut rates to spur growth. Australia’s central bank held rates at a record-low 2.25 percent, defying economist projections for a cut. An annual policy-setting meeting of Chinese lawmakers gets under way this week.

Bloomberg

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