Asian markets suffer amid concerns of global economic growth

Asian markets suffered on Wednesday amidst growing pessimism about global economic growth and a stronger yen – increasing concerns about the future of Japanese exports.

The Japanese Nikkei 225 fell by 1.3 percent down to 15,593.23 in morning trading. The Hang Seng of Hong Kong was down by 1 percent down to 23,198.44, and markets across Singapore, Australia, and Taiwan also experienced a loss.

The IMF reported somewhat gloomy predictions about the outlook for this year and 2015 and investors are appearing to be much less optimistic, along with weak reports coming from Europe, Latin America, and Japan.

The IMF forecasts that the world economy will only grow by 3.3 percent in 2014 – down from its forecast in July.

It is not long now until the U.S. Federal Reserve will release notes on its recent meeting – on Wednesday. Investors are waiting to see when the Fed will increase rates – they are not expected to increase until mid 2015.

Takuya Takahashi, strategist at Daiwa Securities Co. in Tokyo, told the Associated Press:

“Concerns about the world economy are working to push stock prices down,” adding, ”I was expecting them to go down even further.”

In the US the Standard & Poor’s 500 index dropped by 1.5 percent, down to 1,935.10. and the Dow Jones Industrial Average went down by 1.6 percent, down to 16,719.36.

The German DAX was down by 3 percent and the French CAC-40 declined by 1.8 percent. In the UK the FTSE 100 dropped by 1 percent.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange US Crude was down to 37 cents to $88.48 a barrel. Brent crude fell by 38 cents down to $91.73 the ICE Futures exchange in London.