Asia Subdued After China Pick-Me-Up
China’s National Bureau of Statistics released a raft of figures yesterday including the fact that GDP growth was 6.4% in the first quarter compared to a year earlier. The stats matched the last three months of 2018.
The world’s second-largest economy also saw an 8.5% jump in industrial production for March compared to the same period last year while retail sales increased by 8.7%. Sterling stuff as all the figures beat economists’ expectations. But, perhaps, the markets have taken all of this with a pinch of salt and looked ahead to the continuing stalled global growth and international trade, increasing international uncertainties and prominent domestic structural issues – which have been reflected in today’s subdued market performances in the East.
Major Asia-Pacific markets have closed lower. Japan’s Nikkei and Topix slipped, the Shanghai Composite also dipped, along with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and South Korea’s Kospi; although elsewhere in the region, Indonesia’s Jakarta Composite jumped 1.55% due to polls indicating that incumbent president Joko Wikodo had won Wednesday’s election. And in Australia, the ASX squeezed higher on positive job numbers up 25,700 in March.
The expectation is that with a long weekend holiday ahead, markets will continue to be quiet. Happy Easter!