Stocks mostly lower following downbeat China trade data

By YURI KAGEYAMA Markets Associated Press

Global stocks mostly fell on Tuesday after disappointing Chinese trade data raised questions about the pace of growth in the world economy.

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KEEPING SCORE: France's CAC 40 was down 0.2 percent at 5,195 while Germany's DAX shed 0.4 percent to 12,203. Britain's FTSE 100 fell less than 0.1 percent to 7,527. U.S. shares were also set to dip, with Dow and S&P futures both inching down 0.1 percent.

CHINA TRADE: China's trade growth weakened in July in an ominous sign for its growth and for global demand. Customs data showed growth in exports slowed to 7.2 percent from June's 11.3 percent. Imports rose 11 percent, down from the previous month's 17.2 percent. Forecasters have warned Chinese economic growth is likely to slow this year, dampening demand for foreign goods, as controls imposed on bank lending to slow a rise in debt take hold.

THE QUOTE: "The upshot is that, despite the uptick at the end of Q2, trade growth now appears to be on a downward trend. In particular, the sharp decline in import growth since the start of the year suggests that domestic demand is softening," Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics said in a commentary.

ASIA'S DAY: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 slipped 0.3 percent to finish at 19,996.01, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.5 percent to 5,743.80. South Korea's Kospi fell 0.2 percent to 2,394.73. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.6 percent to 27,854.91, while the Shanghai Composite inched up nearly 0.1 percent, to 3,281.87. India's Sensex tumbled 0.7 percent to 32,035.02 and shares in Southeast Asia were mixed.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude added 2 cents to $49.41 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell 19 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $49.39 per barrel Monday in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, shed 8 cents to $52.29 a barrel.

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CURRENCIES: The U.S. dollar fell to 110.32 yen from 110.74 yen late Monday in Asia. The euro rose to $1.1810 from $1.1792.

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