A fresh set of troublingly poor data out of China has investors running for cover on Monday, with all major stock indexes around the world losing ground on the week’s first trading day.
The value of Chinese imports and exports fell heavily in the year to December, adding to a lengthening list of evidence that all is not well in the world’s second largest economy.
According to China’s General Administration of Customs, the value of exports tumbled 7.6% from a year earlier in US dollar terms, coming in well below the median economist forecast offered to Reuters for an increase of 5%.
The year-on-year drop in imports and exports was the largest since the second half of 2016.
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“Weaker than expected trade figures are immediately weighing on commodity and equity markets and associated currency baskets,” Stephen Innes, head of trading in the Asia Pacific region for OANDA said in an email. “Sorry, no frontloading in this data to hang one’s hat on!”
Stocks were not helped by thin liquidity in Asia as Japanese traders enjoyed a public holiday.
Here is the roundup:
- All major indexes in China witnessed losses close to 1%, with a 0.98% fall from the China A50 index the biggest drop on the mainland. Meanwhile Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost around 1.6% of its value.
- European stocks have also started on the back foot Monday, with all major indexes in negative territory. Losses are generally hovering around the 0.4% mark, with the Euro Stoxx 50 broad index dropping 0.41% as of 8.45 a.m. GMT (3.45 a.m. ET).
- Sliding sentiment in Europe and Asia looks likely to impact US trading later when the market opens across the Atlantic later in the day. Futures point to significant falls in all three major US indexes when the New York market opens at 9.30 a.m. (2.30 p.m. GMT).
- The Nasdaq looks to be the worst declined, set to open 0.9% lower. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones are set to trade around 0.7% down at the open.