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Global stocks slip as G20 yields no concrete steps

By Natsuko Waki
/ Source: Reuters

By Natsuko Waki

LONDON (Reuters) - World stocks kicked off the week on a softer note on Monday while oil fell below $56 a barrel after a weekend summit of G20 world leaders in Washington failed to produce concrete measures to avert a global recession.

Data confirming Japan has joined the euro zone and others in recession followed a report on Friday that U.S. retail sales suffered a record decline in October, fanning worries over the impact on corporate profits and consumer consumption.

World leaders pledged rapid action to try to restore global growth over the weekend, but they left it to national governments to tailor their own initiatives and appeared to fall short of a globally coordinated commitment to spur growth.

"There's nothing we've had (from the G20) that changes people's view of the global economy or what the likely policy response is to it," said Daragh Maher, currency strategist at Calyon. MSCI world equity index fell a quarter percent while emerging stocks lost 0.6 percent. European stocks were little changed on the day.

Britain had its share of gloomy economic news. The Confederation of British Industry said the country will suffer its sharpest economic contraction in almost two decades next year, and unemployment could rise to almost 3 million by 2010.

A survey from property website Rightmove said increasingly desperate sellers slashed asking price for homes in England and Wales by 2.9 percent in November, pushing them 7.1 percent below their level a year ago.

Weakening global growth also fueled concerns about demand for energy and commodities. U.S. crude oil fell 2.1 percent to $55.80, edging toward last week's 22-month low. This is more than $90 below its record peak set in July.

The December bund futures fell 25 ticks while Japanese government bonds edged mostly higher.

The euro is up slightly at $1.2666 and the dollar ticked higher to 97.15 yen.

"Risk aversion remains an underlying theme. Thus, we continue to expect medium term dollar support and suggest using near-term rallies in high yielding currencies to form short positions," BNP Paribas said in a note to clients.

(Additional reporting by Veronica Brown; Editing by Victoria Main)