World stocks have risen, attempting to recover after fears of a U.S.-North Korea nuclear standoff drove them to the biggest weekly losses of 2017. But, as Sonia Legg reports, disappointing Chinese data held some investors back.
After the biggest weekly losses of 2017, a recovery was perhaps on the cards. European shares bounced after falling nearly 3 percent last week - the STOXX 600 up almost one percent. Australia, Hong Kong, South Korea and the MSCI index of Asia-Pacific shares also rose. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ASSET MANAGEMENT DIRECTOR, AMPLE CAPITAL LIMITED, ALEX WONG, SAYING: "The fear of North Korea actually subsided a bit over the weekend. So that is also happened the rebound. But I don't think people will be too aggressive because this North Korea tension actually will be in the market for some time." Oil prices were hit by weaker than expected Chinese data. Factory output rose 6.4 percent in July from a year earlier, the slowest pace since January this year. Investment and retail sales also disappointed, reinforcing views that the world's second-largest economy is starting to lose some steam. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF ECONOMIC ADVISER, CEBR, VICKY PRYCE, SAYING: "The domestic economy is definitely slowing down. The interesting thing is that the Chinese are certainly not showing any signs of wanting right now to push the economy forward any further. This huge amount of debt which needs to be sorted out. The consumers have been borrowing quite a lot of money recently lots of non-performing loans in the banking system." But Chinese markets were largely unfazed by the weaker data which had been widely expected. In contrast, surprisingly good GDP figures for Japan did little for Tokyo's stock. The yen tends to benefit during times of stress - so currency falls led Japanese shares down 1 percent to three-month lows.