Global Stocks Down on Weak China Data

BEIJING (AP) -- Global stock markets declined Tuesday ahead of an update on U.S. retail spending after China reported that an economic slump deepened in July and its central bank cut a key interest rate to shore up growth.

London, Shanghai and Wall Street futures declined. Tokyo advanced. Oil prices fell.

Chinese consumer and factory activity slowed more than expected in July, official data showed. The People's Bank of China cut its interest rate on one-week loans to banks.

"Policymakers are starting to hit the panic button," Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management said in a report.

Also Tuesday, Russia's central bank raised its main lending rate by 3.5 percentage points to 12% in an emergency move to strengthen the ruble after the currency reached its lowest value since early in the war with Ukraine. The ruble has lost one-third of its value since the start of this year.

In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London fell 1.2% to 7,417.72. The CAC 40 in Paris declined 1% to 7,277.68 and the DAX in Frankfurt lost 0.8% to 15,781.86.

On Wall Street, futures for the benchmark S&P 500 index and for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 0.5%.

On Monday, the S&P 500 gained 0.6% ahead of a U.S. government on retail spending that traders hope will help to avert a possible recession.

The Dow edged up 0.1%. The Nasdaq composite gained 1.1%.

Economists expect Tuesday's report on monthly retail sales to show growth accelerated to 0.4% in July from 0.2% in June.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index fell slightly less than 0.1% to 3,176.17 after official data showed growth in Chinese retail spending slowed to 2.5% over a year earlier from June's already weak 3.1%. Growth in factory output and investment also decelerated.

The People's Bank of China cut its interest rate on one-week loans to banks to 1.8% from 1.9% in a sign of growing official urgency about reversing the downturn.

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 0.8% to 18,622.55.

The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo gained 0.6% to 32,238.89 after the Japanese economy grew by an unexpectedly strong 1.5% over the previous quarter in the three months ending in June.

Markets in South Korea and India were closed for holidays. New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets declined.

Chinese leaders are trying to shore up flagging economic growth without resorting to a large-scale stimulus, possibly for fear of pushing up debt they think is dangerously high. Growth slid to 0.8% over the previous quarter in the three months ending in June from the January-March period's 2.2%.

The S&P 500 has retrenched by 2.2% in August after soaring 19.5% through the first seven months of the year.

Critics say Wall Street too quickly latched onto the belief that inflation was under control and the economy could avoid a recession.

Consumer inflation edged up to 3.2% in July from the previous month's 3%. That is down from last year's peak above 9% but still higher than the Federal Reserve's 2% target.

On Wednesday, the Fed releases minutes of its latest board meeting. At that meeting, the U.S. central bank's main interest rate was raised to the highest level in more than two decades.

Traders expect the Fed to hold rates steady at its next meeting next month, according to data from CME Group. Some bet the Fed will begin cutting rates early next year.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude lost 26 cents to $82.25 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 68 cents on Monday to $82.51. Brent crude, the price basis for international oil trading, retreated 10 cents to $86.11 per barrel in London. It shed 60 cents the previous session to $86.21.

The dollar rose to 145.64 yen from Monday's 145.52 yen. The euro gained to $1.0927 from $1.0904.