Coronavirus News Asia

Markets draw relief from China’s exports data


Hong Kong: Asian markets closed off lows and European stocks are opening on a firm note after China reported solid export numbers but the mood remained edgy amid the flow of downbeat economic data and negative corporate news.

“Sentiment remains fragile, as markets may have priced in too much optimism to confront the reality ahead of us with current levels and valuations,” said Esty Dwek, head of macro strategy, investment solutions at Natixis Investment Management.

“We may not re-test the lows, but we continue to believe that plenty of risks remain as progress against the virus and stimulus battle bad economic and earnings releases and rising geopolitical tensions. We remain prudent as the transition to the ‘after corona’ is unlikely to be seamless and we are likely to see higher volatility at some point again.”

Japan’s Nikkei 225 added 0.28%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index benchmark fell 0.65%, Australia’s S&P ASX 200 eased 0.38% and Korea’s Kospi index ended just a tad lower. The MSCI Asia ex-Japan index edged down 0.28%.

Trading was thin due to holiday closures in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and India.

China exports up 3.5%

China’s mainland’s stock index the CSI300 benchmark fell 0.29% after the world’s second biggest economy reported exports rose 3.5% year-on-year in April after contracting by 6.6% in March. ING Bank said this was driven by exports of medical supplies and 5G equipment, which is driven by government policy rather than by market demand.

“As some major cities begin to relax social distancing measures, China’s exports of medical supplies are likely to slow down abruptly,” ING said.


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