Singapore exports fall for second month
Another Asian nation heavily dependent on exports to China continued to show how the long-lasting trading trade dispute between the US and China is affecting the global economy. Singapore’s non-oil domestic exports fell 2.9% y/y in October, more than the 0.8% reduction analysts had expected, but at least and improvement on September’s -3.3% reading.
The breakdown of the numbers showed electronic exports slumped 16.4% y/y while exports to the US were down 10.5% y/y, those to Europe -13.2% while China-headed exports fell 5.5% y/y. There was only a mild weakening of the Singapore dollar after the data, with USD/SGD rising 0.03% to 1.3608, the first intraday gains in three days.
USD/SGD Daily Chart
Mini truce in Hong Kong
After a weekend siege at one of Hong Kong’s universities, it looked as if things were going from bad to worse as police stormed the premises earlier this morning, with a major fire reported at the entrance. After the weekend warning that police had been authorized to use live rounds, fears were heightened of severe casualties. However, the polytechnic principal announced mid-morning that a deal had been agreed with police to suspend the use of force against protesters inside the campus, and that the fire had been brought under control.
The news acted as a mild bullish catalyst for equities, with the HongKong33 index outperforming regional peers with gains of as much as 1.1% and are now facing the biggest one-day gain in seven sessions.
HK33 Daily Chart
China cuts reverse repo rate
Another localized boost came from news that China’s People’s Bank of China had announced a 5 bps reduction in the reverse repo rate to 2.50% today, the first cut since 2015 and a move that had been widely speculated on last week in the local press. The move is mostly seen as a move to alleviate a liquidity crunch caused by tax payments rather than an immediate easing. That’s expected to come on Wednesday, with local press suggesting the PBOC will cut its loan prime rate (LPR) by 5 bps.
A slow start on the calendar
It’s a slow start on the data front today, with the calendar mostly populated with speeches from ECB spokespeople -De Guindos and Lane- as the Bundesbank issues its monthly report. The US calendar has only the NAHB housing market index for November and the TIC flows data for September to look forward to.
The full MarketPulse data calendar can be viewed at https://www.marketpulse.com/economic-events/
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