Euro­pean stocks hit by data sig­nal­ing Chi­nese weak­ness

The China Post - - BUSINESS INDEX & -

Europe’s main stock mar­kets mostly fell Mon­day as in­vestors ex­am­ined poor Chi­nese trade data that sig­naled fresh weak­ness in the world’s sec­ond big­gest econ­omy, deal­ers said.

In late morn­ing trade, Lon­don’s bench­mark FTSE 100 in­dex fell 0.44 per­cent to 7,059.10 points, with the min­ing sec­tor hit hard by the weak num­bers.

In the eu­ro­zone, the CAC-40 in Paris slid 0.03 per­cent to 5,238.9 points, while Frank­furt’s DAX 30 added 0.02 per­cent to 12,377 points.

China’s cus­toms ad­min­is­tra­tion said ex­ports fell by a sur­pris­ing 15 per­cent year-on-year in March, while im­ports tum­bled 12.7 per­cent.

The news weighed on the min­ing and re­sources sec­tor in Europe, be­cause China is a ma­jor con­sumer of many raw ma­te­ri­als.

In Lon­don, BHP Bil­li­ton’s share price tum­bled 2.77 per­cent to 1,423 pence, lead­ing the fall­ers on the FTSE 100 in­dex.

An­glo Amer­i­can dived 1.81 per­cent to 1,003.5 pence, Antofagasta dropped 2.54 per­cent to 996 pence and Rio Tinto shed 1.57 per­cent to 2,792.5 pence.

“Bei­jing’s bru­tal trade fig­ures have sparked a sell-off in the min­eral-re­lated stocks, and the overnight an­nounce­ment from China has set the pace for the growth fig­ures that are due out later this week,” said IG an­a­lyst David Mad­den.

“The col­lapse in China’s trade bal­ance on the month was so dra­matic it left some traders won­der­ing whether the fig­ures were ac­cu­rate, and other deal­ers viewed the dread­ful num­bers as a sign for fur­ther stim­u­lus.”

Be­fore the week­end, Euro­pean eq­ui­ties hit record highs on Fri­day as a weaker sin­gle cur­rency boosted com­pa­nies’ ex­ports from the eu­ro­zone, deal­ers said.

Across in Asia, how­ever, mar­kets mostly rose as the data stoked hopes for fresh eas­ing mea­sures in China.

Asia Shares Mostly Up, China

Data Spurs Shang­hai Rally

Asian mar­kets mostly climbed Mon­day, with Hong Kong ad­vanc­ing for an eighth straight ses­sion and Shang­hai ral­ly­ing af­ter more dis­ap­point­ing Chi­nese data fu­eled hopes for fresh eas­ing mea­sures.

Wall Street pro­vided an­other strong lead Fri­day, boosted by a string of merger an­nounce­ments last week and a huge as­set sale by Gen­eral Elec­tric (GE).

Shang­hai surged 2.17 per­cent, or 87.41 points, to 4,121.71 while Hong Kong climbed 2.73 per­cent, or 743.95 points, to 28,016.34 on the sec­ond high­est turnover ever.

Seoul gained 0.53 per­cent, or 11.16 points, to end at 2,098.92.

Tokyo ended marginally lower, dip­ping 2.17 points to 19,905.46, while Syd­ney eased 0.14 per­cent, or 8.1 points, to close at 5,960.3.

The lat­est China fig­ures show the world’s num­ber two econ­omy con­tin­ues to strug­gle. How­ever, they will also re­in­force in­vestors’ ex­pec­ta­tions that au­thor­i­ties will un­veil a new round of growth­fu­el­ing poli­cies.

Those ex­pec­ta­tions have pow­ered a rally in Shang­hai shares to seven-year highs over the past 12 months, and main­lan­ders are head­ing to Hong Kong for what they con­sider cheap eq­ui­ties. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng In­dex (HSI) has now climbed more than 13 per­cent over the past eight ses­sions.

Turnover on the HSI hit two suc­ces­sive records last week as traders north of the bor­der made the most of a link-up be­tween the in­dex and Shang­hai’s ex­change.

While the stock connect pro­gram ini­tially aroused lit­tle in­ter- est, the de­ci­sion by main­land au­thor­i­ties last month to ex­pand the num­ber of fund-man­age­ment firms al­lowed to buy in Hong Kong has seen ac­tiv­ity surge.

“What we saw last week is likely to con­tinue,” Nader Naeimi, Syd­ney-based head of dy­namic as­set al­lo­ca­tion at AMP Cap­i­tal In­vestors, told Bloomberg Tele­vi­sion.

The Dow climbed 0.55 per­cent, the S&P 500 rose 0.52 per­cent and the Nas­daq gained 0.43 per­cent.

Gold fetched US$ 1,199.90 against US$1,202.92 late Fri­day. In other mar­kets: — Welling­ton rose 0.12 per­cent, or 6.96 points, to 5,854.32.

— Manila slipped 0.67 per­cent, or 54.23 points, to 8,073.25.

— Bangkok was closed for a public hol­i­day.

— Mumbai rose 0.57 per­cent, or 165.06 points, to close at 29,044.44 points.

— Jakarta closed down 0.80 per­cent or 43.93 points at 5,447.41.

— Sin­ga­pore gained 0.35 per­cent, or 12.01 points, to 3,484.39.

— Kuala Lumpur lost 2.23 points, or 0.12 per­cent, to close at 1,842.08.

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