Shanghai and Hong Kong led most Asian markets up in another volatile day Tuesday after Chinese data showed imports and exports sank in August, adding to concerns about the economic giant that have convulsed global equities.
But news that Japan’s economy had contracted less than expected was unable to prevent a sharp fall in Tokyo, despite speculation the country’s central bank will likely have to unveil fresh monetary easing measures, which usually supports stocks.
The AFP reported that figures out of China and Japan are the latest to highlight the battle facing the world’s second and third biggest economies as Washington considers tightening monetary policy with US growth rattling along.
Analysts said the recent international market turmoil caused by worries over China – and uncertainty over US interest rates – had left investors nervous.
In Beijing the customs bureau said exports fell 5.5 per cent year-on-year while imports plunged 13.8 per cent.
While the export data was better than forecast and the import figure was affected by plunging commodity prices, the news is a concern owing to China’s role as the world’s biggest trader in goods and a crucial driver of global growth.
On Monday Beijing revised down its original reading for growth in 2014 to 7.3 per cent, its slowest rate in a quarter of a century.
Tuesday’s result also comes despite a series of measures unveiled by authorities to halt a sharp slowdown in the economy, including five interest rate cuts since November and several reductions in the amount of cash banks must keep in reserve – each aimed at boosting lending.
Last month leaders surprised the world by devaluing the yuan, a move that sent shudders through financial markets.
“The trade data confirms the Chinese economy is still mired in a deepening slowdown and the measures the government is introducing to bring back stability are failing to encourage investors,” Ronald Wan, chief executive at Partners Capital International in Hong Kong, told Bloomberg News.
Thursday sees the release of further data, on inflation, retail sales and investment.
Shares in Shanghai ended 2.93 per cent higher at the end of a day of wild swings. The index fell as much as 2.25 per cent at one point and was 3.06 per cent up late afternoon business.
The mainland Chinese market surged more than 150 per cent in 12 months before hitting a peak on June 12, when it began a crash that has seen it so far shed about 40 per cent.
Source : Punch