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Asian shares slip following weaker-than-expected China data – CNBC

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Most major indexes in Asia were moderately lower on Thursday after the release of softer-than-expected China data. Markets also digested the rise in U.S. Treasury yields overnight following tax reform headlines out of Washington.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 slid 0.26 percent after three straight days of gains.

Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi rose 0.07 percent, with gains in blue chip technology companies offset by losses in manufacturing, retail and oil stocks.

Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.14 percent, with the materials sub-index falling 1.11 percent and leading losses.

The Hang Seng Index declined 0.42 percent. Mainland markets were mixed: The Shanghai Composite edged down 0.17 percent while the Shenzhen Composite traded just 0.014 percent above the flat line.

A barrage of Chinese data released on Thursday came in weaker than expected. August industrial production rose 6 percent from one year ago, below the 6.6 percent forecast in a Reuters poll. Fixed asset investment, meanwhile, increased 7.8 percent from January to August, missing a forecast of 8.2 percent.

Retail sales also missed the mark, rising 10.1 percent in August from a year ago. A Reuters poll had estimated a rise of 10.5 percent.

The Australian dollar traded at $0.8002 after earlier slipping below the $0.80 handle on the lower-than-expected numbers out of China. The currency had traded as high as $0.8016 in the session. Movements in the Aussie dollar are influenced by China data due to Australia’s dependence on exports.

In the U.S., tax reform was back in the spotlight after House Speaker Paul Ryan said Wednesday that a plan from Republicans would be released the week of Sept. 25.

While “nothing concrete” was announced, “there is a growing feeling that something will be done amid [President Donald] Trump’s bipartisan approach along with the need for Republicans to score some runs ahead of next year’s election,” said National Australia Bank Currency Strategist Rodrigo Catril in a morning note.

Optimism over tax reform led to yields of the 10-year U.S. Treasury note rising to 2.19 percent on Wednesday, above the 2.17 percent seen in the prior session.

The dollar on Thursday extended gains after getting a lift from developments out of Washington overnight. The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of rival currencies stood at 92.462 at 12.43 p.m. HK/SIN, a touch above Wednesday’s close of 92.407. The dollar index had traded around the 91 handle seen earlier this week.

The dollar was flat against the yen, with the currency last fetching 110.45 yen compared to levels around 110.46 seen in the previous session.

Investors also noted the bounce in U.S. producer prices in August, although the 0.2 percent increase on month was weaker than expected.

On Wall Street, stocks closed at record levels despite mostly flat trade during the session, with the Dow Jones industrial average rising 0.18 percent, or 39.32, to close at 22,158.18.

Despite a fall in Apple stock on Wednesday, the company’s South Korean suppliers continued their climb following the unveiling of the newest iPhone on Tuesday. Samsung Electronics was up 1.01 percent, SK Hynix advanced 0.92 percent and LG Display jumped 2.74 percent. Taiwan-listed Apple suppliers were mixed after falling in the last session: Largan Precision edged up 0.35 percent while Hon Hai Precision Industry edged down 0.87 percent.

In corporate news, Toshiba said Wednesday it had entered into a memorandum of understanding with a consortium including Bain Capital to expedite negotiations to sell Toshiba Memory Corporation, its flash memory unit. Toshiba shares fell 3.32 percent.

Here’s the economic calendar for Thursday (all times HK/SIN):

  • 2:30 p.m.: India wholesale price index
  • 4:00 p.m.: China new yuan loans
  • 4:40 p.m.: Hong Kong industrial production

Outside of Asia, the Bank of England will announce its interest rate decision at 7:00 p.m. HK/SIN. The central bank is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged. The unemployment rate in the country dropped to 4.3 percent in the three months ending in July, but wage growth failed to impress, Reuters reported.

On the energy front, U.S. crude edged down 0.16 percent to trade at $49.22 a barrel after settling more than $1 higher overnight. Brent crude lost 0.25 percent to trade at $55.02. Gains in oil prices on Wednesday came after the International Energy Agency said the oversupply of crude was beginning to shrink, according to Reuters.

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Asian shares slip following weaker-than-expected China data – CNBC}

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