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Global stock markets have been hit by renewed fears over China’s economic growth, with the main indexes falling sharply.
Wall Street traded sharply lower, with the Dow Jones down more than 300 points, or 1.9%, at 16,215.
European markets also fell, with the London’s FTSE 100 closing down 3% and France’s CAC 40 and Germany’s DAX about 2.4% lower.
Earlier, figures for August showed China’s manufacturing contracted at its fastest pace in three years.
The official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) dropped to 49.7 from 50 in July. A figure below 50 indicates contraction.
It follows recent turmoil in the markets sparked by concerns over a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy.
Energy companies led the way down on the Dow, with Chevron and Exxon Mobil down about 3%. This followed a fall in the oil price, which was down more than 4% at $51.89.
Before Tuesday’s fall, the price of oil had risen by about 25% in the past three trading sessions.
The S&P 500 was also down about 2% at 1,934.18, while the tech-heavy NASDAQ was 1.6% lower at 4,699.21.
Global markets sustained heavy losses in August – for both the UK’s FTSE 100 and the US’s S&P 500, it was the worst month since May 2012.
As well as the weak China factory data, investors are unsure about the US Federal Reserve’s next move. Many had penciled in the a rate rise – the first move since the financial crisis – for September. However, given the recent stock turmoil, analysts seem less certain.
Eurozone unemployment fell in July 2015 to its lowest rate in more than three years, Eurostat figures have shown.
According to the EU statistics agency, the unemployment rate in the currency union fell to 10.9% in July from 11.1% the month before.
The fall was helped by a sharp fall in Italy’s unemployment, where the jobless total fell by 143,000.
It is the first time the unemployment rate in the eurozone has been below 11% since February 2012.
The wider 28-member EU saw the unemployment rate fall to 9.5%, the lowest rate since June 2011.
The lowest unemployment rate was in Germany, at 4.7%. Greece had the highest unemployment rate, at 25%, the latest available data from May showed, followed by Spain at 22.2%.
The rate of youth unemployment across the eurozone also declined to 21.9% in July from 22.3% a month earlier.
A survey released earlier on September 1 suggested that growth in the eurozone’s manufacturing sector had eased slightly in August, despite factories barely raising prices.
The closely-watched Markit eurozone manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) was 52.3 last month, below a preliminary reading that suggested it had held steady at July’s reading of 52.4. However, it has remained above the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction for more than two years.
There was some good news within the data. Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland and Italy all saw strong growth, with Germany’s manufacturing PMI reading jumping to 53.3 in August from 51.8 a month earlier.
The manufacturing figures come almost six months into the European Central Bank’s (ECB) €60 billion-a-month bond-buying program designed to inject new life into the eurozone economy and combat low inflation, which is currently sitting at 0.2%.
With inflation still far from the ECB’s target rate of just below 2%, and looking likely to stay there for the foreseeable future, speculation is growing the bank will have to extend its stimulus program beyond the planned completion in September 2016.
According to fresh economic data, the Chinese factory activity contracted at its fastest pace in three years in August, confirming the slowdown in the country’s economy.
The official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) dropped to 49.7 from 50 in July.
A figure below 50 indicates contraction.
The weak data is likely to add to global concerns over China’s economy losing steam and could send Asian and global shares down further.
A separate private Caixin/Markit index also released on Tuesday puts the PMI number even weaker, at 47.3, the weakest reading since 2009.
The fresh economic data is also likely to undermine efforts by Beijing to reassure investors and calm markets.
Chinese mainland stocks have been on a steep downward slope over the past months, shedding almost 40% since June.
Authorities have injected money into the markets, allowed the state pension fund to start buying up shares and lowered lending rates.
So far though, none of those measures have managed to push the markets back into positive territory and analysts have warned that the more Beijing’s intervention fails to have an impact, the more likely it is that future ones will be shrugged off by investors.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics Games logo has been scrapped after allegations that it was plagiarized.
The Games organizing committee said there were too many doubts over the emblem for it to be used.
Logo designer Kenjiro Sano admitted copying online material when questioned by organizers, Japanese media reported.
A Belgian artist had complained that his design was stolen.
In July Japan also scrapped a controversial design for the new Olympic stadium.
“We have reached a conclusion that it would be only appropriate for us to drop the logo and develop a new emblem,” Toshio Muto, director general of the Tokyo organizing committee, told a news conference.
“At this point, we have decided that the logo cannot gain public support.”
A total of 197 people have been arrested in China for spreading rumors online about the recent stock market crash and fatal explosions in Tianjin, according to state news agency Xinhua.
A journalist and stock market officials are among those arrested, Xinhua said. It gave no other details.
Chinese shares fell by nearly 8% after a week of volatile trading that spread fear to global markets.
The Tianjin explosions killed 150 people – with 23 still missing.
A total of 367 people remain in hospital after the August 12 blast at a Tianjin warehouse where large amounts of toxic chemicals were stored. Twenty are in critical condition, according to Xinhua.
Separately, the UK’s Financial Times says Chinese leaders feel they mishandled their stock market rescue efforts.
The publication, quoting an account of a meeting of senior regulatory officials on August 27, said the government had decided to abandon attempts to boost the stock market and instead step up efforts to punish people suspected of “destabilizing the market”.
Chinese authorities tightly control information online and have previously prosecuted internet users for spreading rumors.
The rumors described by the latest statement include reports that a man had jumped to his death in Beijing due to the stock market slump and that as many as 1,300 people were killed in Tianjin blasts, Xinhua said.
The news agency said “seditious rumors about China’s upcoming commemorations of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II” were also among the offences.
A journalist was also arrested along with several stock market officials, according to a Xinhua report. The journalist, Wang Xiaolu, is accused of “spreading fake information” about the market slump, the report said.
Xinhua said Wang Xiaolu confessed that he “wrote fake report on Chinese stock market based on hearsay and his own subjective guesses without conducting due verifications”.
In 2013 China introduced a possible three-year sentence for spreading rumors – the sentence was supposed to apply to anyone who posted a rumor that was reposted 500 times or viewed 5,000 times.
An International Chamber of Commerce’s ruling has settled a four-year dispute between carmakers Volkswagen AG and Suzuki Motor over their failed partnership.
The court ruled that VW should sell its 19.9% stake in Suzuki.
Japan’s Suzuki first requested the sale of VW’s shares in 2011 after a plan to collaborate on new technology failed, but the German firm had refused.
Suzuki’s chairman Osamu Suzuki said it “used to feel as if a small bone were stuck in my throat…I feel so refreshed now”.
“It was a precious experience,” he said.
“I learned there are different types of companies.”
Asked about future partnerships with VW Osamu Suzuki said “you will not remarry someone you have divorced”.
For its part, Volkswagen said: “We welcome the fact that there is now clarity. The co-operation between the two companies has now been ended.”
VW and Suzuki had agreed to work together on fuel efficient cars but Suzuki accused VW of withholding information it had promised to share, while VW objected to a Suzuki deal to buy diesel engines from Fiat.
As part of the 2009 agreement, VW bought the Suzuki stake as a way of it gaining access to the Indian market for small cars, where the Japanese firm had a leading position.
Suzuki said it planned to buy back the shares from VW at a “reasonable” price, which one analyst told Reuters was likely to be Friday’s closing price of 4,151.5 yen ($34.1).
In a statement, Suzuki said it did not foresee any financial impact on its full-year earnings.
A baseball fan died after falling from the upper deck into the lower-level stands at Turner Field on August 29 during a game between the Atlanta Braves and the New York Yankees.
The man was given emergency medical treatment including CPR at the scene but Atlanta police later confirmed his death.
He fell close to the where the players’ wives and families sit and many could be seen in tears.
Photo Getty Images
Police said the man was in his early 60s but they have not named him.
A security guard said the man appeared to be hanging on to a wire but then fell on to the lower seats during the seventh inning.
An Atlanta Braves statement read: “We have received confirmation that the fan involved in an accident at this evening’s game has passed away. The Atlanta Braves offer their deepest condolences to the family.”
Another fan died in a fall in 2013 at Turner Field that was later ruled to be a suicide.
Brazil’s economy has entered recession after official figures showed it contracted by 1.9% between in Q2 2015 compared with the previous three months.
Analysts had expected a contraction, but the number was worse than expected.
Q1 2015 output was also revised down to show a 0.7%, rather than a 0.2%, contraction.
Brazil, the seventh-largest economy in the world, has seen economic growth fall sharply in recent times.
This is due in part to low commodity prices and sluggish global growth.
High interest rates – currently 14.25% – have also affected consumer spending, an important element of Brazil’s economy, while this year, the government has introduced stringent austerity measures designed to tackle high levels of debt.
Government spending, including on unemployment benefits, has fallen sharply, while taxes have risen.
In Q2 2015, household spending fell by 2.1% compared with the previous three months. The biggest falls came in the industrial sector, where construction output fell 8.4%
Transport, storage, postal services, financial services and insurance all saw falls in output.
Compared with a year earlier, Brazil’s economy as a whole shrank by 2.6%.
The technical definition of a recession is two consecutive quarters of economic contraction.
China stock market returns to positive territory after massive losses there earlier in the week rocked markets around the globe.
The Shanghai Composite was up by 0.6% to 2,942.94 points.
The turnaround though does little to make up double-digit percentage losses made so far this week.
Shares elsewhere in Asia also made gains in early trade on the back of a jump on Wall Street on August 26, which saw its biggest rise in 4 years.
In other Asian markets on August 27, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was up by 2.5% at 21,613.48 points; the region’s biggest stock market, Japan’s Nikkei 225, finished trading 1.1% up at 18,574.44, building on strong gains made the previous session; South Korea’s Kospi also notched up gains for a second day. The index closed 0.7% higher at 1,908.0 points.
In Australia, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 wrapped up the day 1.2% higher at 5,238.70 points.
Severe losses on the Chinese market over the past week had sent shockwaves around the globe.
A move by the country’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China, to cut its key lending rate on August 25 initially failed to calm the Chinese market.
Concerns about China’s slowing economic growth have been rising for months with a constant trickle of poor economic data, the latest of which last Friday suggested that factory activity shrank in August at its fastest pace in more than 6 years.
Analysts believe the tentative share market rebound indicates fears over China’s woes may have somewhat eased.
In an effort to calm stock markets after two days of turmoil, China’s central bank has cut its main interest rate by 0.25 percentage points to 4.6% to boost growth in the country’s economy.
It is the fifth interest rate cut since November and will take effect on August 26.
The People’s Bank of China’s move has boosted global share prices further, with Wall Street’s Dow Jones index opening more than 1.7% higher after the move.
In mid-afternoon European trading, London’s FTSE 100 was up almost 3%, while Germany’s Dax and the Paris Cac were ahead nearly 5%.
Other European markets, including Lisbon, Madrid, Moscow and Milan, were all sharply higher.
The People’s Bank said that the interest rate cut was to reduce “the social cost of financing to promote and support the sustainable and healthy developments of the real economy”.
The Chinese central bank also acted to increase the flow of money in the economy by cutting the amount of cash banks must keep in reserve, effectively freeing them to lend more cash.
Its move was broadly welcomed by economists.
A research note from JP Morgan stated: “China’s decision to cut… will be regarded by many investors as overdue. The litmus test will come overnight, however, and the efficacy of the… cut in boosting the domestic stock market.”
The Chinese authorities have taken a number of steps to help stem stock market losses since the market began a series of heavy falls in June.
Earlier, China’s falling stock market had hit markets around the globe on August 24, and – although Asian markets were again hit overnight – European stocks had already opened in a more optimistic mood on August 25.
The main Shanghai Composite index closed Tuesday’s session down 7.6% at 2,964.97 points. Japan also saw more sharp falls, sending Tokyo’s Nikkei index down 4%.
The global sell-off has been driven by fears that China’s slowing growth means less business for everyone else.
China’s booming economy of the last 30 years has seen the country suck in supplies of raw materials for manufacturing and, increasingly, manufactured and luxury goods from other countries.
China stock market has plunged for a second day after worries over the country’s slowing growth triggered a global sell-off.
The Shanghai Composite, China’s main stock exchange, fell 7.6% on August 25 – after losing 8.5% on what state media have called China’s “Black Monday” on August 24.
It was the worst fall since 2007 and caused sharp drops in markets in the US and Europe.
Tokyo’s Nikkei index had a volatile day, closing 4% lower.
The Shanghai index ended the day 245 points lower at 2,964.97.
After decades of rapid growth, China is slowing down, and investors globally are worried that firms and countries which rely on high demand from China – the world’s second largest economy and the second largest importer of both goods and commercial services – will be affected.
Chinese shares had experienced a year-long rally – mainly fuelled by investors borrowing money to buy shares – which came to an end in June.
The government then intervened in financial markets, to try to maintain momentum in the economy.
Two weeks ago China’s central bank devalued the currency, the yuan – this raised fresh concerns that China’s economy could be in worse shape than previously thought.
A cheaper currency lowers the price of China’s exports, making them more attractive to global companies.
Elsewhere in Asia and Australia on August 25, markets beat expectations, opening lower but then returning back to positive territory: Korea’s KOSPI gained almost 1% and Australia’s S&P ASX/200 ended the day 2.7% higher.
The dollar remained weak at 119.15 yen, up from a seven month low of 118.51 yen in New York on August 24.
Commodity prices also recovered after Monday’s falls, although oil remains under pressure because of a global oversupply.
Overnight, the Europe and the US saw dramatic falls, but are expected to show some signs of recovery when they open on August 25.
Wall Street’s Dow Jones fell 6%, but then almost recovered its losses before closing 3.6% lower.
London’s FTSE 100 index closed down 4.6% as major markets in France and Germany were down by 5.5% and 4.96% respectively.
IndyCar driver Justin Wilson died of a head injury at the age of 37.
He died in hospital on Monday, August 24.
Justin Wilson was in coma after a piece of debris struck him at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, August 23.
IndyCar announced his death at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Justin Wilson, a British driver who lived outside Denver in Longmont, Colorado, was hit in the head during Sunday’s race by piece of debris that had broken off another car. His car veered into an interior wall at the track, and he was swiftly taken by helicopter to a hospital in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
His younger brother, Stefan Wilson, also an IndyCar driver, tweeted: “Can’t even begin to describe the loss I feel right now. He was my Brother, my best friend, my role model and mentor. He was a champion!”
Stefan Wilson said his brother’s organs would be donated.
Justin Wilson won seven times over 12 seasons in open-wheel racing and finished as high as fifth in the Indianapolis 500.
An acclaimed sports car racer, Justin Wilson won the prestigious 24 Hours of Daytona with Michael Shank Racing, and he competed in 20 Formula One races in 2003 before moving to the U.S. to join Champ Car.
He finished third in the Champ Car standings in 2005, and was runner-up in both 2006 and 2007. To support his career, his management team in 2003 created a program that allowed fans to invest in the driver. Hundreds of people bought shares in Justin Wilson, who was dyslexic and a strong supporter of foundations related to the disorder.
Justin Wilson, a native of Sheffield, England, entered this season without a full-time ride. He latched on with Andretti Autosport and was in the sixth of seven scheduled races with the team. The agreement began as a two-race deal for events at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and then was increased to the final five races of the year.
The IndyCar season concludes on August 30 in Sonoma, California.
Justin Wilson leaves behind a wife, Julia, and two daughters, 7 and 5. The family asked for donations to a trust fund for his daughters in lieu of flowers.
Closed store Dominick’s has been ordered by a federal jury to pay Michael Jordan $8.9 million for using his identity without permission in an advertisement.
Moments after the verdict was announced Friday at the Dirksen US Courthouse, Michael Jordan said “it was never about the money” adding that he would give the award to charities in Chicago.
“It was all just about protecting my name and my likeness,” the basketball legend said.
Lawyers for Dominick’s owner, Safeway, had argued that it should pay just $126,900 for using Michael Jordan’s identity without permission in a 2009 ad for its Rancher’s Reserve steaks in a special issue of Sports Illustrated commemorating Jordan’s elevation to the Basketball Hall of Fame.
After deliberating for more than six hours at the end of a weeklong trial, the jury came up with a number on August 21 that was far closer to what Michael Jordan asked for – $10 million.
Before the case even went to trial, the court had decided that Dominick’s was liable for running the ad without Michael Jordan’s permission. That meant jurors only had to decide how much Safeway should pay.
Oil prices and stock markets around the world have seen further falls, sparked by the renewed fears over the health of the global economy.
China shares fell 1.5% after the authorities intervened again on the stock market to little effect.
Expectations of a US interest rate rise dimmed after the Federal Reserve said the economy was not ready yet.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones index opened 1% lower, while markets in Paris and Frankfurt fell more than 2%.
London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index shed 0.56%, while the price of Brent crude oil was down 0.4% at $46.97 a barrel, although US crude recovered from earlier falls to stand 0.6% higher at $41.35.
On August 19, the Fed released minutes from its meeting on July 28-29, showing that one policymaker was ready to vote for an interest rate rise at the meeting.
Overall, the Fed thought conditions for a US rate rise “were approaching”, but the economy was not ready yet.
Other policymakers remained concerned that inflation would remain weak because of the strong dollar and falling commodity prices, which act as a double depressant on imports.
The Fed’s key interest rate has been kept near zero since December 2008.
There has been speculation that the Fed will raise rates at its meeting in September, and last month Fed chair Janet Yellen said she thought a rate rise this year was likely.
Following the release of the Fed’s minutes, US stocks rallied briefly but then fell back, while the dollar weakened on the currency markets. The Dow Jones index ended August 19 trading down 0.9%.
The committee also cited China as a potential problem, saying that a “material slowdown” in the Chinese economy could affect the US economic outlook.
The FOMC’s meeting came before last week’s action by China to weaken its currency.
After days of volatility, Chinese stock market traded lower once again on August 20, despite Beijing’s efforts to calm markets.
China’s Shanghai Composite closed 1.5% down at 3,735.92 points.
The fall comes after the index saw strong volatility earlier in the week.
Traders appeared not to respond to efforts by the central bank to provide more liquidity to stabilize markets.
In assessing the strength of the US economy, the Fed has been keeping an eye on the US jobs market – where the unemployment rate has been falling and is now 5.3%. However, inflation is still below the Fed’s target of 2%.
The minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) July meeting noted that the labor market “had continued to improve, with solid job gains and declining unemployment”.
However, when assessing inflation, it said that “some members continued to see downside risks to inflation from the possibility of further dollar appreciation and declines in commodity prices”.
The FOMC said it would continue to monitor inflation “closely, with almost all members indicating that they would need to see more evidence that economic growth was sufficiently strong and labor market conditions had firmed enough for them to feel reasonably confident that inflation would return to the committee’s longer-run objective over the medium term”.
Inflation figures released earlier on August 20 showed that consumer prices rose by 0.1% in July, and were 0.2% higher from a year ago.
So-called core inflation, which ignores changes in food and energy prices, also rose 0.1% last month, but was up 1.8% over the year.