China to the rescue
Asian equity markets fared much better than their US counterparts did yesterday, mostly helped by comments out of China. Before the markets opened, we heard coordinated voices from the heads of China’s securities regulator (CSRC), the banking and insurance regulator and the central bank. The chief of CSRC said that China will support non-state backed listed companies, while the PBOC governor said low market valuations and market volatility are caused by investor sentiment and were not in line with China’s economic fundamentals. He added that the central bank will support financing to non-state backed firms.
China50 Daily Chart
Investors interpreted the comments to imply official money would be flowing into the market, so the local index started off in the black, and powered ahead to gains of more than 1.8% at one stage. This filtered through Asian bourses, with the Japan225 index currently up 0.3%, the HongKong33 index gaining 1.1% and the Australia200 index adding 0.8%. The NAS100 index, the worst hit of the US indices yesterday, rose 0.2%.
China data disappoints
China recorded GDP growth of 6.5% y/y for the third quarter, below estimates of 6.6% and down from Q2’s 6.7% rate. That was the slowest rate of growth since Q1 2009, when the Global Financial Crisis was in full swing. China’s Statistics Bureau laid the blame squarely on the trade war, saying the “extremely complex and severe international situation” was a drag on growth.
In other data, industrial production slowed to +5.8% y/y in September, the weakest since February 2016, while retail sales provided the only bright spot, rising 9.2% y/y, better than the 9.0% predicted in a poll of economists, and the fastest pace in five months.
The Aussie took an initial knee-jerk dip after the GDP numbers, hitting the lowest in more than a week, but soon recovered amid the positive sentiment across equity markets. However, AUD/USD has yet to regain the 200-hour moving average at 0.7113, which has actively guided the pair over the past five sessions.
AUD/USD Hourly Chart
Canada’s consumer prices on tap
Euro-zone current account data for August is the only main event on the European calendar today, which is expected to show a larger surplus of EUR21.4 billion from EUR21.3 billion in July. Consumer prices from Canada for September headline the North American session, with both the official readings and the Bank of Canada core readings due.
Watch out for speeches from Fed’s Kaplan (dove, non-voter) and Bostic (dove, voter) today, though neither is expected to deviate from the Fed’s current view on the rate path amid a strong economy. A speech from Bank of England’s Carney completes the week.
You can view the full MarketPulse data calendar at https://www.marketpulse.com/economic-events/
Have a great weekend from Asia.