Asian stocks hurt by growing concerns of a global slowdown, fell for a 5th day running overnight, heading for its longest losing streak since May. Poor import figures out of China, the world’s second largest economy and lackluster jobs reports out of the U.S. the world’s largest economy sparked a selloff in Asian equities markets that has continued. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.63%, Australia’s S&P/ASX200 was down 0.22%, whilst Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index was down 0.45%. China has its trade surplus widen to a three year high of $31.7 billion in June from $18.7 billion in the previous month. Beijing reported that exports increased by 11.3% in June from a year earlier, down from 15.3% in May. Imports increased by 6.3%, which was well below expectations of 11.0% and far below 12.7% in the previous month.
The global doom and gloom of investors worldwide meant subdued trading, with low volumes. The markets even shrugged off Japanese tertiary industry figures which rose to a seasonally adjusted 0.7% in May, from -0.2% in April, whose figure was revised up from -0.3%. Markets had been forecasting a 0.2% reading for the Tertiary Industry Index, which measures the change in the total value of services purchased by businesses.
Some positive data in the UK saw the GBP make modest gains against the major currencies, only to see them reversed as the Asian trading session progressed. The trade gap in the UK narrowed for the month of May, falling to £2.7bn, compared with £4.1bn in April, helped by a 6.6% seasonally adjusted rise in exports, whilst imports increased by 1%. Also the U.K. Office for National Statistics reported earlier that manufacturing production increased 1.2% in May after contracting 0.8% in April, beating market forecasts for an increase of 0.1%.
Today, as European stocks indicate a mixed to lower opening, the U.S. is to release official data on its trade balance, its latest figures on crude oil stockpiles, and later, the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s most recent monetary policy meeting. Canadian Trade balance figures released and German 10 year bond auctions should be monitored as their release is expected to cause some movement for binary traders.
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