Asian shares sink, tracking Friday's retreat on Wall Street


BANGKOK (AP) — World shares were mostly down on Monday, extending last week’s late sell-off as surveys suggest significant slowdowns in economic growth in Europe and the U.S.

In midday trading Monday, the FTSE 100 in Britain lost 0.6 percent to 7,171 as uncertainty over Brexit continued. British Prime Minister Theresa May was under intense pressure to resign as the price of breaking the country’s Brexit impasse and winning support for her unpopular EU divorce deal.

The CAC 40 in France declined 0.3 percent to 5,252 and Germany’s DAX also fell 0.3 percent to 11,332, despite a survey there showing that business confidence in Europe’s biggest economy is improving after six months of declines.

Wall Street appeared likely to open slightly lower after another survey showed that business economists foresee a significant slowdown in U.S. growth over the next two years. That’s in sharp contrast to the Trump administration’s predictions that growth will accelerate in the coming years.

Citing a global slowdown and trade conflicts, economists from the National Association for Business Economics collectively project that growth will reach a modest 2.4 this year and just 2 percent in 2020.

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Still, the economists say they think a recession remains unlikely any time soon.

The future contract for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down close to 0.3 percent to 25,502. The Standard & Poor’s 500 future contract lost 0.3 percent, to 2,803.

Wall Street was roiled Friday by fresh signs that global economic growth is slowing. Worried investors have shifted money into bonds, sending yields lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury was at 2.46 percent in pre-trading hours Monday, down from 2.54 percent late Thursday, a big move.

Monday’s weak performances came amid a lull in news on the tariffs war between the United States and China. Trade talks are due to resume Thursday in Beijing.

The declines started in Asia, where Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock index skidded 3.0 percent to 20,977.11, while the Shanghai Composite index dropped 2.0 percent to 3,043.03. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 2.0 percent to 28,523.35.

Thailand’s SET dropped 0.9 percent after a military-backed party prevailed in the country’s first election since a 2014 coup, after tilting the electoral system in its favor. The outcome is likely to add to nearly two decades of political instability in Thailand.

Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea’s Kospi shed 1.9 percent to 2,144.86 and Australia’s S&P ASX 200 gave up 1.1 percent to 6,126.20. Shares fell in Taiwan and Southeast Asia. India’s Sensex lost 1.2 percent to 37,721.87.

ENERGY: Energy futures continued their slide. Benchmark U.S. crude oil lost 19 cents to $58.85 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost 1.6 percent to settle at $59.04 a barrel on Friday. Brent crude shed 27 cents to $66.76 per barrel. It fell 1.2 percent to close at $67.03 a barrel on Friday.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rebounded against the Japanese yen, to 110.16 yen from 109.91 yen on Friday. The euro rose to $1.1311 from $1.1303.

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Ott reported from Madrid.

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