China's November industrial production growth eased sharply from 5.9% to 5.4%, the lowest level since 2009. Global stocks plunged.
Retail growth also eased, growing at 8.1%, which is the weakest pace in 15 years.
Cracks are also continuing to show in Europe, with Italy, Germany, car sales, France, and Brexit all weighing on sentiment.
Fear has taken hold in equity markets after China's industrial production plummeted, sparking a selloff that spread globally. Cracks in the European economy are also continuing to show, weighing on those region's equities.
China's November industrial production growth eased sharply from 5.9% to 5.4%, the lowest level since 2009. The data pointed to weak performance in key export sectors such as computers, electronics and autos.
Retail growth also eased, growing at 8.1%, which is the weakest pace in 15 years, says Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.
China's November trade data indicated signs of weaker growth in the rest of the world. Export growth declined from 15.5% to 5.4% with shipments to the EU and ASEAN countries showing weakness while exports to the US dropped to 9.8% from 13.2%, according to Societe Generale.
"There have been some troublesome figures coming out of China in 2018 and another batch has now served to drag down markets in Asia and Europe," Mould said. "China is finding it hard to sustain high levels of economic growth. There is some concern that the impact of the US-China trade war has yet to be properly felt, suggesting that China's economic data could be in for more shocks in early 2019 unless the countries secure a permanent truce."
Problems are also rumbling in Europe. Fears about Italy's budget remained front and center on Friday after the European Union suggested there was more to be done on the country's budget deficit. British Prime Minister Theresa May was rebuffed by EU leaders in her attempts to renegotiate her Brexit deal. Germany's problems continued with composite PMI numbers sliding in December.
It follows an already subdued mood in Europe. The European Central Bank announced Thursday that it cut its economic growth forecasts and would end its bond buying stimulus program. France's yellow-vest protests are harming the country's economy.
Here's a roundup of markets:
The JSE was down 1% and the rand slumped 1.5% to R14.37/$ early afternoon on Friday.
In Asia, the Shanghai Composite closed down 1.7%. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1.3%. Japan's Nikkei also fell 2% Friday.
The Euro Stoxx 50 down 1.1% as of 10.20 am in London (5.20 am EST). The DAX, FTSE, and CAC were all down more than 1%.
US stock index futures are following suit. The Nasdaq, S&P 500 and Dow 30 all down about 1% in premarket.
China's woes weighed on commodities. Copper futures are down 1% while Brent crude continued to tumble despite agreed OPEC and Russian cuts last week. Oil is down 0.6%.
European car stocks also plunged after data showed new EU licenses fell 8.0% year-over-year in November following a 7.3% fall in October. Renault is down 3.6% while Volkswagen, Peugeot, Daimler are trading down 2.4%. Germany's BMW is down 1.9% and Fiat Chrysler is down 2%. Full year car sales are expected to drop to 2% in 2018, down from 5% in 2017.
US dollar index futures are up 0.5%.
Source: Business Insider
Global markets fall once again on Tuesday after brief two-day relief rally.
A "poisonous brewing cauldron of geopolitical and economic issues" is to blame for the risk-off sentiment gripping investors.
Losses are led by Asia, which has seen virtually all major indexes drop more than 2% on Tuesday.
Europe is following suit, with Germany's DAX down more than 1.2%. US futures are also pointing to substantial losses.
The JSE fell almost 2%.
You can follow the latest developments in global markets at Markets Insider.
Global markets slumped once again on Tuesday as the continent's two-day-long relief rally came to an abrupt end, thanks to a cocktail of negative drivers.
All major Asian indexes lost ground during Tuesday's session, with the FTSE China A50 the biggest casualty, down more than 3%. Other mainland Chinese indexes lost more than 2%, with the Shanghai and Shenzhen Composite indexes both down around 2.2%.
Losses were not contained to China, however, with Japan's Nikkei losing 2.7%, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropping close to 3% after a sharp fall into the close.
There was no single catalyst for the losses, with growing geopolitical tensions between Saudi Arabia and the West over the death of journalist Jamal Khashosggi, resurfaced fears about President Trump's trade war, and generally waning confidence in the Chinese economy all partially to blame.
"Big swings in the Chinese markets continued, with the previous two-day rally moving sharply into reverse. After mulling over Chinese stimulus plans the market is seeing these stimulus measures as cushioning a fall rather than boosting the economy," Jasper Lawler, head of research at London Capital Group said in a morning briefing.
"It was all too much for the markets on Tuesday. The poisonous brewing cauldron of geopolitical and economic issues led to one of those opens as nuance-less as it was red," Connor Campbell, analyst at Spreadex added.
Fears abound that the sell-off in China could get worse as a wave of forced share selling kicks in for Chinese companies who use their shares as colleteral for loans.
According to Bloomberg, about 4.18 trillion yuan (R8.7 trillion) worth of shares have been put up by company founders and other major investors as collateral for loans, accounting for about 11% of the country's stock market capitalization, based on calculations using China Securities Depository and Clearing Corporation data.
The South China Morning Post, citing a report by Tianfeng Securities, said earlier in the week tha tmore than 600 company stocks have fallen to levels where forced sales may kick in.
"It's a vicious cycle: share drops lead to liquidation and liquidation leads to further share drops," Wang Zheng, chief investment officer at Jingxi Investment Management told the South China Morning Post last week.
The JSE's all share index was down 1.7% by midday, but the rand was marginally stronger at R14.35/$.
Naspers, down 3% to R2,725.58, and Nedcor, which lost 3.7% to R225.03 were some of the worst hit among large companies. 
Gold stocks are booming again, with Sibanye up 11% to R11.64. Nervous investors are buying gold, which jumped a percent to $1,234/oz this morning.
European stocks have also witnessed losses in the first hour of trading, although not as severe as those in Asia. By midday, Germany's DAX has dropped 1.2%, while the UK's benchmark FTSE 100 index is around 0.7% lower. The Euro Stoxx 50 broad index is down 0.8%.
"Sentiment continues to take a hit from a combination of geopolitical tensions including the growing isolation of Saudi Arabia, Italy's defiant stance towards the ECB and Brexit," Lawler said.
US futures are also pointing to big losses when markets open stateside, with the Nasdaq pointing to an opening loss of 1.1%, while both the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones look to fall around 0.9%
Source: Bloomberg news

It has been a difficult year for South Africa. In September the World Bank downgraded South Africa’s 2017 growth forecast to 0.6 percent, down from 1.1 percent at the beginning of the year. To get ahead the South African economy is in urgent need of more entrepreneurs to boost growth, foster innovation, and aid in job creation.

The reality is that much more must be done to create an enabling environment for entrepreneurship to truly flourish.

As we enter Global Entrepreneurship Week and acknowledge Women’s Entrepreneurship Day on 17 November, it is worthwhile to take stock of the current entrepreneurial landscape in South Africa and seriously question Donna Rachelson Seed Academyhow best to forge ahead. This is especially important considering government’s National Development Plan places the onus on small and expanding businesses to create some 90 percent of new jobs, with the ultimate goal of reducing unemployment to just 6 percent by 2030.

This is no small task given that in real terms the country needs to create about 11 million more jobs in the next 12 years supported by an average economic growth of 5.4 percent every year over the period to achieve that aim. Couple this with the World Bank’s projection that for 2018 and 2019 South Africa’s GDP growth is expected to pick up to a meek 1.1 percent and 1.7 percent respectively and it becomes clear that decisive action is urgently required.

Earlier this year Seed Academy conducted South Africa’s largest entrepreneurial survey, the Real State of Entrepreneurship in South Africa 2017. The survey canvassed over 1,200 entrepreneurs at any stage of business development to understand the nature of the challenges faced by entrepreneurs in key areas such as access to funding, business support and skills development. South Africa needs to significantly scale and improve the efficiency of SME funding especially in light of the fact that most early-stage business funding requirements are below R100k. In addition, further research indicates that while it is critically important to encourage new entrepreneurs, it is equally important to provide support to growing SMEs which only start to meaningfully contribute to job creation when they grow to R2 million or more in turnover.

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) report for 2016/2017 notes that Africa is the region reporting the most positive attitudes towards entrepreneurship, with three quarters of working-age adults considering entrepreneurship a good career choice while 77 percent believe that entrepreneurs are admired in their societies. In South Africa the right attitudes to entrepreneurship deserve the right support. By way of comparison, in Rwanda it takes an entrepreneur 12 days to register and start a business, while here at home the same process takes an average of 45 days. National policy makers should take note of this and focus on regulatory reforms to make it easier for new businesses to register and operate.

The recent GEM report highlights that countries with high rates of entrepreneurial success also have effective support structures from private and public sectors as well as established mentorship programmes for both aspirant and current entrepreneurs.

Seed Academy’s own entrepreneurial survey shows that local entrepreneurs see immense value in participating in training programmes with 78 percent of respondents indicating that they had engaged in entrepreneur training programmes or were part of an incubator at some point. Corporate enterprise and supplier development programmes also featured, although to a far lesser extent, with 14 percent of respondents having been part of these, indicating that more can be done to educate entrepreneurs about various ESD programmes available together with clear information on participation requirements.

Globally, the importance and benefits of increasing the economic participation of women are well understood. In South Africa, support for black women and youth entrepreneurs in particular continues to be critical to unlocking South Africa’s entrepreneurial potential.

Recently the World Economic Forum (WEF) issued its annual Global Gender Gap Report which found that should current rates persist, it will take 100 years before women achieve equality in the four areas measured by the WEF including political empowerment, economic participation, health and education. In South Africa we still have much work to do, but there are promising signs of change as the gap between the number of male and female entrepreneurs begins to narrow slightly, proving that efforts focused on the development of women owned businesses do pay off.

Given that entrepreneurs and small businesses are being tasked with the massive responsibility of reviving the economy and creating millions of new jobs, we owe it them to improve the entrepreneurial ecosystem and ensure an enabling environment for businesses to grow and thrive. Better and more robust engagement with policy makers and providers of financial and non-financial support is one place to start. Taking into consideration the ambition of the task, determined vision and leadership are needed from all sections of society as soon as possible.

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