Southwood international group news bulletin hong kong
* Gold slides to over 2-year lows
* Bullion loses edge on stimulus fears; ETF outflows rise
* China GDP grows by less than expected 7.7 pct in Q1
* Oil, copper at multi-month lows
By Manolo Serapio Jr
SINGAPORE, April 15 (Reuters) – Gold sank to its weakest in two years and oil and copper hit multi-month lows as investors sold off commoditiesfor a second day on Monday, worried that central banks will pull the plug on stimulus and as disappointing Chinese data signaled a setback for the global economic recovery.
Gold fell more than 3 percent, after sliding 5.3 percent on Friday, as investors further slashed their bullion holdings on concern that centralbanks are bent on halting stimulus measures this year, cutting gold’s appeal as a hedge against inflation. Holdings on global gold exchange-traded funds hit their lowest in more than a year.
China’s economy grew 7.7 percent in the first quarter, undershooting market expectations for an 8.0 percent expansion and frustrating investors hoping the world’s No. 2 economy would rebound after posting its weakest growth in 13 years in 2012.
The Chinese data comes after soft U.S. retail sales and consumer sentiment numbers raised doubts about the economic recovery momentum in the world’s top economy, driving down commodities and equities on Friday.
“There are questions about the trend of bottoming in China’s economy and whether it can re-accelerate above 8 percent this year in a sustainable way,” said Vishnu Varathan, market economist at Mizuho Corporate Bank in Singapore.
China’s weaker than forecast gross domestic product growth is backed by slower increase in industrial production and fixed-asset investment, despite strong lending growth in March as last week’s data indicated.
“That shows how China’s economy looks a bit uneven and risks in the property and shadow banking sectors might be mounting. What this means is that policymakers in China have less latitude to spur the economy because they’ll be mindful of these risks,” said Varathan.