Chinese Stocks Slip After Mixed Trade Data, Asian Bourses Retreat

By Ambar Warrick Chinese stocks fell on Monday as investors digested mixed trade data from the country, while most Asian stocks also retreated amid growing expectations of more policy tightening by the Federal Reserve. 

As of 2346 ET (0346 GMT) China’s bluechip Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 index fell 0.2%. Consumer and service sector stocks fell the most as weaker-than-expected growth in China’s imports in July sowed doubts over local demand.

But the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.2%, boosted by industrial stocks as a bigger-than-expected jump in exports showed demand for Chinese goods remained robust. The country also logged a record trade surplus. 

But doubts over laggard demand in the mainland spilled over into other Asian markets, given China’s status as a dominant export destination for most of the continent. 

Bourses in Taiwan , Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines sank between 0.2% and 0.5%. 

Broader sentiment was dented by a big jump in the dollar, which came after substantially better than expected U.S. payrolls data last week. The reading gives more space to the Fed to hike rates sharply- a move that is widely expected to draw capital away from Asian markets. 

Focus this week is also on key U.S. CPI inflation data, which is expected to further factor into the Fed's tightening plans. 

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index rose 0.3%, as the country posted a smaller-than-expected current account deficit in July. But the reading also marked Japan's first deficit in five months, as the rising cost of commodity imports outweighed exports.

Australian stocks were flat, as gains in mining and bank stocks were largely outweighed by losses in China-exposed consumer and service sector stocks.

While China’s imports fell, data showed the country’s appetite for commodities- a bulk of which come from Australia- remained resilient. 

Shares of copper miner OZ Minerals Ltd (ASX:OZL) jumped over 34% after the firm received a $5.8 billion takeover bid from BHP Group Ltd (ASX:BHP), which it rejected. BHP shares rose 0.6%.


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