Asia shares off to sluggish start, China data soft

Asia shares off to sluggish start, China data soft

July 31, 2022 Off By administrator

FILE PHOTO РPedestrians wearing protective masks, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, are reflected on an electronic board displaying various company’s stock prices outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, February 25, 2022. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

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  • Nikkei flat early, S&P 500 futures slip 0.4%
  • China PMI disappoints ahead of data-packed week
  • Asia wonders if Wall St can sustain its rally
  • UK, Australian central banks expected to hike this week

SYDNEY, June 30 (Reuters) – Asian share markets got off to a slow start on Monday as disappointing Chinese economic data fed doubts last week’s rally on Wall Street could be sustained in the face of determined policy tightening by global central banks.

China’s factory activity actually contracted in July as fresh virus flare-ups weighed on demand. The official manufacturing purchasing managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 49.0 in July, missing forecasts for 50.4. read more

That did not bode well for the raft of PMIs due this week, including the influential U.S. ISM survey, while the July payrolls report on Friday should also show a further slowdown.

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At the same time U.S. data out Friday showed stubbornly high inflation and wages growth, while central banks in the UK, Australia and India are all expected to hike again this week.

“We expect the Band of England to step up monetary tightening with a 50bp hike at its August meeting. The increase in energy prices is likely to be the main driver,” warned analysts at Barclays.

“Central banks focus on the still strong inflation momentum and tight labour markets rather than signals of slowing growth. This could upset markets’ recent ‘bad news is good news’ view.”

The caution was evident as MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan (.MIAPJ0000PUS) eased 0.1% in sluggish early trade.

Japan’s Nikkei (.N225) dithered either side of flat, while South Korea (.KS11) dipped 0.1%. S&P 500 futures slipped 0.4% and Nasdaq futures 0.3%.

While U.S. corporate earnings have mostly beaten lowered forecasts, analysts at BofA cautioned that only 60% of the consumer discretionary sector had reported and it was under the most pressure given inflation concerns for consumers.

“Our bull market signposts also indicate it’s premature to call a bottom: historical market bottoms were accompanied by over 80% of these indicators being triggered vs just 30% currently,” BofA said in a note.

“Moreover, bear markets always ended after the Federal Reserve cut, which likely is at least six months away – BofA house view is for a first cut in 3Q23.”


Bond markets have also been rallying hard, with U.S. 10-year yields falling 35 basis points last month for the biggest decline since the start of the pandemic. Yields were last at 2.670%, a long way from the June top of 3.498%.

The yield curve remains sharply inverted suggesting bond…

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