Standard & Poor's projects that China's consumer market will surpass that of the U.S. within five years, even taking into account slowing growth in China. S&P notes in particular the Chinese industry strategy of trying to acquire overseas consumer brands as a way of improving sales at home.
Asian stocks took a breather from recent strong gains Thursday as economic figures out of Europe and the U.S. failed to impress. The Nikkei fell 2.12% to 13,752.94, the Hang Seng was down 0.01% to 22,539.25, the Kospi added 0.57% to 1,923.91 and the S&P/ASX eased 0.10% to 5,152.40.
Japan's deflationary doldrums are coming to an end and the job market is improving, the government said Thursday, while cautioning that more remains to be done. The August report was more upbeat than July's and comes after a rare upturn in consumer prices in June and a 2.6% annual rate of economic growth in the second quarter.
Rising speculation on imminent tapering in the U.S. Federal Reserve's bond-buying program sent European shares tumbling Thursday, and disappointing corporate results weighed on shares in the U.S. The Stoxx Europe 600 dropped 1.06% to 305.34, and the S&P 500 fell 1.43% to 1,661.32. Here is a continuously updated list of global stock indexes.