China data lifts Asian equities

China PMIs boost equity markets

Wall Street beat a modest retreat overnight, except the Nasdaq, which one again, powered higher, boosted by Apple, Tesla and Zoom. The S&P 500 fell 0.23%, the Nasdaq rose 0.68% to another record high, and the Dow Jones lost 0.80%.

After a slightly negative start in Asia, positive China data has lifted spirits across the region, with stock markets unwinding early losses. China’s Caixin Manufacturing PMI for August again impressively outperformed. The Caixin PMI rose to 53.1 in August, up from 52.6 in July. This reading points to expansion in the manufacturing sector and reinforces the notion that China is leading the region out of the pandemic recession. The result was more pleasing as the official Manufacturing PMI yesterday stalled, with a reading of 51.o. This was virtually unchanged from the previous reading of 51.1. There was better news in the services sector, as the Services PMI rose to 55.2, up from 54.2 beforehand. The net result between the two releases suggests that China is firing on nearly all its cylinders.

The Nikkei 225 is flat, with the Kospi rising 0.90%. China’s Shanghai Composite and CSI 300 have risen 0.15% with the Hang Seng up 0.10%.

Singapore remains in negative territory, lower by 0.50%, but Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta and Manila have climbed around 0.25%. Australia is the region’s laggard as the Australian dollar climbs to highs last seen in late 2018. The detention of an Australian journalist by China has also raised the trade relations temperature, whilst weak property price data has added another cloud. Although I believe the effects are transitory, the ASX 200 and All Ordinaries have sunk by 2.20% today.

Australia aside, the China data should give markets a boost of cautious optimism that should flow over into European equities this afternoon. Although the ascent of the euro and pound may temper economic recovery exuberance.

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Jeffrey Halley

Jeffrey Halley

Senior Market Analyst - Asia Pacific
With more than 30 years of FX experience – from spot/margin trading and NDFs through to currency options and futures – Jeffrey Halley is OANDA’s senior market analyst for Asia Pacific, responsible for providing timely and relevant macro analysis covering a wide range of asset classes. He has previously worked with leading institutions such as Saxo Capital Markets, DynexCorp Currency Portfolio Management, IG, IFX, Fimat Internationale Banque, HSBC and Barclays. A highly sought-after analyst, Jeffrey has appeared on a wide range of global news channels including Bloomberg, BBC, Reuters, CNBC, MSN, Sky TV, Channel News Asia and the New York Times. He was born in New Zealand and holds an MBA from the Cass Business School.
Jeffrey Halley