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World share prices retreat…China has slowest economic growth in 26 yrs…IMF, World Bank hold annual meetings

World share prices retreat…China has slowest economic growth in 26 yrs…IMF, World Bank hold annual meetings

World share prices retreated after China reported today that its economy grew 6.0%, its slowest pace in 26 years, in the latest quarter. In early trading, Britain’s FTSE 100 edged 0.1% lower, the CAC 40 in Paris lost 0.2% while Germany’s DAX reversed early losses, edging 0.1% higher. In Asia, the Shanghai Composite index gave up early gains, closing 1.3% lower. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 0.5%. South Korea’s Kospi shed 0.8%. Wall Street looks poised for a tepid start, with the future Dow and S&P futures 0.1% lower.

BEIJING (AP) _ China’s economic growth slowed to 6% over a year ago in the latest quarter, its lowest level in at least 26 years, amid a tariff war with Washington and weakening domestic consumer demand. The latest level is down from the previous quarter’s 6.2%. Chinese trade has suffered from U.S. tariff hikes in a fight over Beijing’s trade surplus and technology plans. Factory output, investment and consumer spending also declined.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The leaders of the 189-nation International Monetary Fund and sister organization, the World Bank, are laying out their visions for the future, hoping to achieve a world with less extreme poverty and more economic growth. However, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and World Bank President David Malpass will likely find their discussions over the next two days consumed with more immediate problems, such as rising trade tensions. Both officials will deliver speeches at the opening session today of the annual meetings of the two organizations.

BRUSSELS (AP) — After agreeing on terms for a new Brexit deal, European Union leaders are meeting again today to discuss other thorny issues, including the bloc’s budget and climate change. No decision is expected on the next long-term budget for 2021-2027, though, a topic more divisive than Brexit.

MILAN (AP) — Italy’s main farm lobby is forecasting a 20% drop in sales of Italian agricultural products targeted by new U.S. tariffs. The group, Coldiretti, says the 25% tariffs that take effect today will hurt sales in the United States of Italian Parmesan and Gorgonzola cheeses, as well as cured meats, citrus fruit and liquors. The Italian products on the tariff list represent half a billion euros ($550 million) in export value.

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