Home / International/ Asia shares flat after mixed China data, pound near 9-month peak

Asia shares flat after mixed China data, pound near 9-month peak


Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Friday, 15 March 2019 00:00


An investor watches a board showing stock information at a brokerage office 

in Beijing, China October 8, 2018.REUTERS 

SYDNEY (Reuters): Asian shares barely budged on Thursday as investors reacted cautiously to mixed data from China, while the pound hovered near nine-month highs as the risk of a no-deal Brexit receded following a late-night vote.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan held at 522.06 points.

Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.5% while Australian and New Zealand shares each added 0.2%.

Chinese shares were in the red after data showed the country’s industrial output expanded at the slowest pace in 17 years, although retail sales and fixed asset investment grew by more than expected.

Shanghai’s SSE Composite index stumbled 1.2% while the blue-chip CSI 300 eased 0.4%.

Investors were watching the data for clues about the health of China’s economy after growth cooled to 6.6% last year.Despite China’s slowing growth, Asian markets have had an impressive rally this year, with the MSCI index climbing about 10% largely after the US Federal Reserve all but abandoned its rate hike plans.

Wall Street was buoyant overnight after US producer prices barely edged higher in February, the latest sign that inflation remained tame and affirming expectations the Federal Reserve would maintain a “patient” approach to future tightening.

Analysts, however, remain sceptical about how much further the share rally would run as slowing global growth, weak corporate earnings and trade tensions between the United States and China hang heavy on risk assets.

The state of US-China trade talks also weighed on investors after President Donald Trump said he was in no rush to complete an agreement. Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping had been expected to hold a summit at the president’s Mar-a-Lago property in Florida later this month, but no date has been set for a meeting.

Most of the action overnight was in sterling after the British parliament rejected leaving the European Union without a deal, paving the way for a vote that could delay Brexit until at least the end of June.

The rejection of a no-deal Brexit sent the cable rallying to $1.3380, the highest since June 2018. It jumped 2.1% for its best one-day percentage gain since April 2017 and was last at $1.3315.

Analysts said the real test for sterling was yet to come as lawmakers still need to agree a way forward before an extension on Britain’s exit could be obtained from the European Union.

The euro extended gains for a fifth day in a row to the highest since March 5. It was last at $1.1329.

Wednesday’s vote boosted investor optimism in European equities too, with the pan-European STOXX 600 index climbing 0.6% while London’s FTSE 100 added 0.1% as sterling extended gains.

The dollar index hovered near a seven-day trough hit after the inflation data against a basket of major currencies Against the Japanese yen, the greenback gained slightly to 111.44.


Share This Article

Facebook Twitter


DISCLAIMER:

1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.

COMMENTS

Today's Columnists

Ministry of Education: A nation rich in human capital

Monday, 14 October 2019

lIncrease the current number of students doing A/L from 218,191 to 300,000 and ensure majority of A/L students do STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) subjects. lEnsure 360,000 students per annum sit for O/Ls. lDevelop 771 schools u


Sustainable social entrepreneurship and social value creation through marketing capabilities

Monday, 14 October 2019

Many entrepreneurs engage in business expecting profit and enhanced their performance of business. As entrepreneurship is facing dramatic competitive environment globally, entrepreneurs need a change in these days in their marketing efforts to enjoy


Emotionally intelligent leaders for Sri Lanka: Dire need of a rare breed

Monday, 14 October 2019

Verbal diarrheal has become rampant in Presidential Election season. Emotional outbursts in the political circles ranging from “jumpers to pampers” are common these days. Leaders are supposed to be more “emotionally intelligent” according to


Bankrupt Sri Lanka Incorporated: Prospective rescuers should come up with a common policy

Monday, 14 October 2019

The case of a bankrupt company What do you think of a private company which is indebted to the hilt, does not earn enough to repay its debt and experiences a low sales growth which is declining year after year? Surely, it is a problem company needing


Columnists More