China pledging tough economic reforms

Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang, who is expected to succeed Prime Minister Wen Jiabao next year, has told Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, that China must make tough economic reforms if it wants to maintain strong growth and stabilize prices.

“China has reached a crucial period in changing its economic model and (change) cannot be delayed. Reforms have entered a tough stage,” Li said to an economic policy conference in Beijing on Sunday attended by Lagarde. “We will make policies more targeted, flexible and forward-looking to maintain relatively fast economic growth and keep price levels basically stable.”

As investors continue to worry about slowing growth in China, markets across Europe and Asia were mostly mixed on Monday.

By mid-session, London’s FTSE had fallen 0.34%, the German DAX had slipped 0.64% and the French CAC 40 had tumbled 0.60%. The euro fell 0.14% to $1.3161, while the British pound appreciated 0.25% to $1.5879.

Overnight, the Nikkei (EWJquote) edged up 0.12%. Exporters were mixed with Sony shares slipping 0.98% and Panasonic stock appreciating 1.04%.

Seoul’s KOSPI (EWYquote) rose 0.62%. As in Japan, South Korean exporters were mixed, with shares of Samsung climbing 1.78% and LG stock slipping 1.42%.

Elsewhere, the Shanghai Composite (YAOquote) climbed 0.23% and Australian stocks (EWAquote) rose 0.38%. In Singapore, shares (EWS, quote) dropped 0.68%.

The Chinese yuan fell 0.02% to 6.3215 to the dollar, while the Japanese yen depreciated 0.28% to 83.16 against the greenback.