People’s Bank of China Injects Cash
The PoBC was forced to inject $62 billion to meet the extra demand of the Lunar New Year holiday. This was not an unforeseen move by the Central Bank as they did it as well last year. It becomes more relevant after statements from the Chinese Premier on the challenging road ahead for the country in 2014 and the disappointing early look at the purchasing managers index which dropped in the latest reading.
The main objective of the funding was to stabilize the market ahead of the holiday, but also to avoid a cash crunch from previous underfunding which international observers are saying its a far bigger issue that China is letting on.
Flash Purchasing Managers Index Drops to Contraction
The flash PMI release was the first time in six months that Chinese factory activity failed to expand. This is not the best start for the China and statements from policy makers warned the markets of more of the same in 2014. A weaker domestic demand coupled with the prolonged drop in foreign demand made the PMI drop below 50 to 49.6. This reading means the sector is contracting. Markets that are more deeply connected to China for growth suffered losses after the figure was released. Australia was particularly hard hit being China biggest supplier.
IMF Reduces Growth Expectation in Emerging Markets
Overall the IMF raised the growth expectations of major economies while undercutting the emerging markets. China was the standout with an upgrade by 0.3 percent to a growth forecast of 7.5% in 2014 followed by India with a 4.4% forecast. Russia and Brazil suffered cuts to their growth estimates with 2 and 2.3 percent expectations for this year. The fact that China factory output contracted in the first part of the year alongside the ever present US Federal Reserve tapering has hit emerging markets which this week had losses across the board.
China – Japan Feud Reaches Davos
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took his bold style of politics to Davos, Switzerland this week. The first order of business was to reassure attendees that Japan was definitely back after Abenomics is starting to show results. Then he defended his visit to a controversial shrine which sparked outrage in China and South Korea. He said that the memorial does not only include participants of World War One, but also 1868 Meiji war and WWI and pays respect to all victims of war regardless of nationality. Abe then called out other Asian nations for building their military might which is wasteful in current economic conditions.
- Emerging Market Drop Could Be First Wave 
- China Overtakes India Becomes Top Gold Consumer 
- Nikkei Near One Month Low Below 15,300 
- USD/JPY near 103 on Fed Bets 
- Fears of an Australian Housing Bubble 
- China Takes A Shine to Gold 
- Indian FinMin: Restrictions on Gold Imports To Continue 
- Japan To Drag Emerging Markets Down If Abenomics Fails 
- Analysts Start Poking Holes in Japan Recovery 
- Japan’s PM Abe Promises Corporate Tax Cuts 
- Thai Central Bank Holds Rates Protests Might Have Delayed Move 
- Roubini Highlights Japan’s Abe Comments on 2014 Being like 1914 
- Japan Aks China To Lower Military Spending 
- China Concerns Leads Asia Lower 
- China Manufacturing Reading Surprises 
- India’s Finance Minister: Looking at 8% Growth 
- China’s Manufacturing Activity Down 
- PM Abe: We are Winning the Deflation Battle 
- More Analysts Starting To Doubt Abenomics 
- BOJ Leaves Monetary Policy Steady 
- Korean Personal Data Theft as High as 40% of Population Exposed 
- Japan and US Agree To Cooperate Further on TPP Deal 
- 76.6 Percent of Japanese College Grads in March Already Have Jobs 
- China’s Shrinking Workforce may Provide Others Opportunities 
- Inflation Target Mistake for BOJ 
- PBOC Expands Liquidity Injection To Include Small Banks 
- Japan PM Vows To Institute Virtuous Cycle 
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