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Asian Market Update – Thursday: Asian Stocks Flat after Weaker Chinese Economic Data

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The Big Question: Is the Chinese economy cooling again?

Major equity markets in the Asia Pacific remain flat, as a set of fresh economic data suggested that the world’s second-largest economy cooled down last month unexpectedly.

The Shanghai Composite Index skidded 0.03 percent to 3,383.25 before midday on Thursday. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index was down 0.34 percent 27,800.21.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was trading 0.04 percent above the flat line at 19,873.62.

In South Korea, the KOSPI index ticked up 0.06 percent to 2,361.50 around midday.

Down under, the ASX 200 added 0.21 percent to 5,758.70.

As geopolitical tensions on the Korean Peninsula took a back seat, investors appear to be looking at scores of economic data out of China and seeking new direction.

China’s industrial production grew 6 percent in August from a year ago, below a projected 6.6 percent, slowing down further from a 6.4 growth in the previous month.

Retail sales rose 10.1 percent in August from the previous year, lower than the projected 10.5 percent and July’s 10.4 percent growth. Growth fixed-asset investments in urban areas also missed the forecast of 8.2 percent, coming in at 7.8 percent.

The Chinese economy maintained relatively stable and even better-than-expected performance in the first few months of the year, with a GDP growth of 6.9 percent in the first half of the year. Though more data are needed to judge performance, the data on Thursday suggest things are cooling down.

Unsurprisingly, Chinese officials seem to be confident about the country’s economic growth. Premier Li Keqiang, speaking in a meeting with heads of six global economic organizations, said the Chinese economy is strong and will remain stable.

Main Market Movers – Mid-day Asian Trading Session

Indexes Value at Midday Daily Change
Japan-Nikkei Stock Average 225 19,873.62 0.04%
China-Shanghai Composite Index 3,383.25 -0.03%
Australia-ASX 200 5,758.70 0.21%
Hong Kong-Hang Seng 27,800.21 -0.34%
South Korea- KOSPI 2,361.50 0.05%

Cryptocurrencies

Digital currencies continued on a downtrend overnight as both bitcoin and ethereum prices pointed lower.

Bitcoin prices declined 1.73 percent in the Asian trading session to $3,798. The virtual currency dropped below the $4,000 mark on Wednesday and seemed to lack the strength to bounce back up.

Ethereum saw an even larger fall of 2.04 percent overnight, changing hands at $269. Despite an earlier surge to as high as $280 in early morning trading, the ethereum price was in an overall downtrend.

Cryptocurrencies have been having a tough couple of weeks, mainly due to reports out of China about a ban on ICO’s and rumors of cracking down on commercial cryptocurrency trading. This has now pushed down the prices of bitcoin and ethereum from highs of nearly $5,000 and $400, respectively, to way below $4,000 and $300.

Currencies

The Japanese yen lost a slight 0.01 percent against the US dollar overnight to 110.49 per dollar. The greenback has been strengthening against the yen in the last three days after talks of tax reforms and weaker hurricane impact.

The Chinese yuan lost 0.07 percent to 6.5449 per dollar. The yuan has been losing against the dollar after the People’s Bank of China, the central bank, made a couple of adjustments to foreign exchange regulations, indicating it would let the yuan float more freely.

The Australian dollar gained 0.25 percent to 1.2492 per dollar overnight.

Commodities

WTI Oil lost 0.22 percent to $49.18 per barrel.

Brent Crude was down 0.11 percent to $54.98 per barrel.

Gold gained 0.05 percent to $1,321.73 an ounce.

Business News across Asia

In China, officials confirmed that US President Donald Trump will make his first visit to Beijing as president in November, though a specific date has not yet been set. Aides to Trump and President Xi Jinping are reportedly working hard to nail down an agenda for the talks. Trade and North Korea could top that agenda.

Take away: The first meeting of the two in May in Trump’s Florida resort was very positive and boosted financial markets that had worried about a potential trade war between the world’s two largest economies. All eyes would be on this one again because things haven’t been going too well since they met last time, with stalled talks on trade and volatility on the Korea Peninsula.

In India, a visit by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has consumed much of the country’s news coverage. Most of the headlines focused on how India and Japan could work together to challenge China, with which both countries are not happy. The visit also saw the launch of India’s first bullet train project with Japanese support.

Take Away: With the positive tone out of New Delhi towards Japan, Japanese companies could get a lot more projects in India, which has a massive demand for infrastructure and other projects.  

Featured image from Flickr.

 

 

 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.3 stars on average, based on 37 rated postsFredrik Vold is an entrepreneur, financial writer, and technical analysis enthusiast. He has been working and traveling in Asia for several years, and is currently based out of Beijing, China. He closely follows stocks, forex and cryptocurrencies, and is always looking for the next great alternative investment opportunity.




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Market Overview

Return of Volatility? U.S. Stocks Plunge on China Growth Woes

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U.S. stocks declined sharply on Tuesday, as fears of a slowing Chinese economy disrupted weeks of steady progress on Wall Street. Meanwhile, crypto markets continued to stabilize after a weekend pump-and-dump.

Stocks Plunge

All of Wall Street’s major indexes booked heavy losses in the first session back from Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 301.87 points, or 1.2%, to 24,404.48. Twenty-eight of 30 index members finished lower, led by Caterpillar Inc. (CAT), DowDuPont Inc. (DD) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS).

The broad S&P 500 Index (NYSEARCA:SPY) fell 1.4% to 2,632.90, led by steep losses in energy and technology shares. Ten of 11 primary sectors were lower by the close.

The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index declined 1.9% to close at 7,020.36.

A measure of implied volatility known as the CBOE VIX surged on Tuesday, signaling rocky trading conditions for stocks. The so-called “fear index” rose reached a session high of 21.15 on a scale of 1-100 where 20 represents the historic average. It later settled at 20.80, having gained 16.9%. VIX has gained in just three of the past 11 sessions.

Chinese Headwinds

Investors returned to work after the holiday only to see that China’s economy had grown at its weakest pace in 28 years. What’s more, the pace of expansion weakened further in the latter half of 2018, with annual fourth-quarter GDP rising 6.4%. That’s below the full-year growth clip of 6.6%.

President Trump commented on the growth numbers in a tweet on Monday, where he urged Beijing to negotiate a balanced trade deal to bolster its economy.

China and the U.S. have made important progress in bilateral trade talks. Last week, Beijing pledged to eliminate its surplus with the U.S. over the next six years by importing an additional $1 trillion in American-made goods. However, negotiations appear to have soured after a source told CNBC that a forthcoming meeting between Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Chinese vice ministers of trade has been cancelled. More on this story can be found on CCN.

A slowdown in China and other major economies prompted the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to slash its forecast for global growth this year and in 2020. The Fund now expects the global economy to grow 3.5% in 2019 and 3.6% in 2020, down from prior estimates of 3.7% for both years.

Cryptos Lack Progress

Crypto markets were largely rangebound on Tuesday, as the technical tug-of-war between the bulls and the bears continued. The combined value of cryptocurrencies hovered just below $121 billion, where it was little changed from Monday’s levels. Markets whipsawed between gains and losses over the weekend before stabilizing on Monday.

Bitcoin returned above $3,600 in the afternoon session for a gain of 1%. Ethereum rose 1.6% to $119.33. Bitcoin cash, EOS and Tron each rose more than 4.5% on the day.

Related: Can EOS Overcome the Bear Market?

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, is planning a major expansion into Europe via Jersey, a self-governing entity of the United Kingdom. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao recently tweeted that the exchange has been “overwhelmed with registrations,” a sign of strong demand in a region hit by political chaos and slowing economic growth.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.7 stars on average, based on 743 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he leads content development for one of the world's foremost cryptocurrency resources. Over the past eight years Sam has authored more than 10,000 articles and over 40 whitepapers in the fields of labor market economics, emerging technologies, cryptocurrency and traditional finance. Sam's work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Contact: sam@hacked.com Twitter: @hsbourgi




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Analysis

3 Things You Need to Know About the Market Today

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1, Pound Resumes Rally on Strong Employment Report

GBP/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The Great British Pound reacted well to the likely delay of the Brexit process in recent weeks, and today the currency defied the risk-off shift and rallied back towards the 1.30 level against the USD. The better than expected British Employment Report, which showed the strongest wage growth in a decade, outpacing inflation despite the long-term weakness of the Pound.

While the currency gained ground, British equities followed the global trends and finished lower, threatening with a resumption of the broader declining trend. All eyes are still on the Brexit saga, but should the extended deadline scenario prevail, the short-term bullish trend could continue in the pair, even as traders should keep the considerable event risk in mind when trading the Pound-related pairs.

2, Oil and Stocks Slide as Risk Assets Suffer amid Renewed Trade Worries

Johnson & Johnson, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

While the losses in risk assets have been limited yesterday, due, in part at least, to the US bank holiday, today, we saw heavy selling across the board. Oil ran into a wall near the resistance zone that we pointed out yesterday, and the crucial commodity fell back to a $52 per barrel handle with regards to the WTI contract.

Stocks got hit hard on reports that this week’s round of meetings between the senior US and Chinese officials has been canceled, with the issues of Intellectual Property and deeper Chinese economic reforms being behind the setback. We argued several times that these ‘soft’, hard to control issues are unlikely to be resolved anytime soon, even in the case of a formal agreement, so while we expect wild swings on trade-related headlines, the structural, credit-related issues will drive Chinese assets.

3, Johnson & Johnson Misses on Guidance Despite Earnings Beat

WTI Crude Oil, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The pressure on stocks intensified following Johnson & Johnson’s (JNJ) earnings report, with the 2019 guidance disappointing investors. While the previous quarter was a positive surprise from the healthcare giant, as far as the bottom line is concerned, the outlook for the consumer segment cast a shadow on the broader market even as the company’s core Pharmaceutical business continues to shine.

Shares of the company are down by around 2%, and after the closing bell, IBM’s (IBM) report will be in focus, as the struggling tech giant will also report earnings. IBM has seen its share price cut in half as its growth stalled in recent years, and even a small positive surprise could propel the stock higher following the market-wide decline of the recent months, but it’s unlikely that the broader downtrend will be broken anytime soon.

ChartBook

Major Stock Indices

S&P 500 Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Nasdaq 100 Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Dow 30 Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

VIX (US Volatility Index), 4-Hour Chart Analysis

DAX 30 Index CFD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

FTSE 100 Index CFD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

EuroStoxx50 Index CFD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Nikkei 225 Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Shanghai Composite Index CFD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

EEM (Emerging Markets ETF), 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Forex

EUR/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

USD/JPY, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

EUR/GBP, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

AUD/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Commodities

Gold Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Copper Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Featured image from Shutterstock

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.7 stars on average, based on 445 rated postsTrader and financial analyst, with 10 years of experience in the field. An expert in technical analysis and risk management, but also an avid practitioner of value investment and passive strategies, with a passion towards anything that is connected to the market.




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Market Overview

Dow Plunges After Opening Bell as Democrats Set to Reject Trump’s Proposal to End Government Shutdown

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U.S. stocks opened sharply lower on Tuesday, as Democrats wasted little time talking down President Trump’s new border-security proposal to end the partial government shutdown. Oil prices also faced a sharp correction as China growth woes rattled investors.

Weak Open

All of Wall Street’s major indexes traded lower after the opening bell, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling by as much as 188 points. The Dow 30 index was last down 154 points, or 0.6%, at 24,552.12. The broad S&P 500 Index declined 0.7% to 2,652.82, with ten of 11 primary sectors trading lower. The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index declined 0.8% to 7,101.06.

U.S. markets were closed on Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. U.S. futures prices were down across the board in the holiday-shortened session.

The last full trading session on Friday saw gains of 1% to 1.3% for the major indexes.

Oil Slides

The S&P 500’s energy index declined 1.8% at the start of trading Tuesday as oil prices faced a brisk selloff. U.S. and international crude prices were down more than 2% on worries that China’s slowing economy will impact energy demand.

As Hacked reported on Monday, China’s economic growth slowed to 6.6% in 2018, the lowest rate of expansion in 28 years.

The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) benchmark for U.S. crude futures declined $1.33, or 2.5%, to $52.71 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international futures benchmark, declined $1.41, or 2.3%, to $61.32 a barrel.

Senate to Reject Trump’s New Proposal

Senate Democrats this week are expected to reject President Trump’s new proposal to end the partial government shutdown, which has now entered day 31. With another employee pay deadline over the horizon, Republicans and Democrats are under pressure to resolve the impasse, which has shattered the previous record for longest in history.

On Saturday, President Trump laid out a new plan for funding his proposed border wall that included key compromises on DACA and immigrants with Temporary Protected Status. As we reported on CCN, the proposal included a three-year extension for immigrants that fall under either category, as well as additional funds for urgent humanitarian care, additional border agents and drug protection technology.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi immediately rejected the proposal, and has since gone on to call it a “nonstarter,” according to The Wall Street Journal. As WSJ notes, the proposal is unlikely to receive the 60 votes necessary to pass in the Senate and wouldn’t survive the Democrat-controlled House.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. Charts via TradingView and Barchart. 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.7 stars on average, based on 743 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he leads content development for one of the world's foremost cryptocurrency resources. Over the past eight years Sam has authored more than 10,000 articles and over 40 whitepapers in the fields of labor market economics, emerging technologies, cryptocurrency and traditional finance. Sam's work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Contact: sam@hacked.com Twitter: @hsbourgi




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