Asian markets fall on weak China imports

Asian markets fell on Tuesday, as weakening demand for imports in China provided new evidence of a slowdown in the region's biggest economy and investors shrugged off a eurozone bid to help Spain.

Official data showed China's trade surplus expanded in June as demand for imports fell more sharply than expected, adding to investor nerves before the release of more key data this week including second-quarter GDP.

Tokyo's Nikkei index ended 0.44 percent, or 39.15 points, lower at 8,857.73, with shares of China-linked stocks weighed down by the latest data from the country.

Construction equipment maker Komatsu gave up 3.45 percent to 1,818 yen, while Hitachi Construction Machinery lost 2.90 percent to 1,371 yen.

"Caution remains over the release of (China's) GDP for the April-June quarter" on Friday, said a senior strategist at a Japanese brokerage.

Sydney finished 0.49 percent, or 20.3 points, down at 4,098.0, and Seoul was off 0.36 percent, or 6.68 points, at 1,829.45.

Shanghai closed down 0.29 percent, or 6.37 points, to 2,164.44, while Hong Kong was off 0.16 percent, or 31.73 points, to end at 19,396.36.

Regional bourses tracked declines in the United States and Europe, extending heavy losses they made on Monday.

"The market is currently holding a very negative view on China's economy," Ben Kwong, chief operating officer at KGI Asia, told Dow Jones Newswires.

The trade surplus widened last month to 42.9 percent compared to the same period the previous year, according to figures from the General Administration of Customs.

Exports for the month rose 11.3 percent year-on-year to $180.21 billion, but imports climbed just 6.3 percent to reach $148.48 billion, according to the government's data.

Amid a string of negative data from the world's second-biggest economy, the government has sought to revive growth with measures including two interest rate cuts in the past month.

Analysts had already flagged more government action to boost growth after China reported Monday that the pace of inflation slowed to a 29-month low in June.

The economy expanded an annual 8.1 percent in the first quarter, its slowest pace in three years. The government will release the gross domestic product for the second quarter on Friday, with growth expected to have slowed further.

The euro meanwhile slipped against major currencies after European leaders' latest effort to shore up the ailing currency bloc was met with scepticism.

After marathon talks in Brussels, eurozone finance ministers agreed to offer Spain 30 billion euros ($37 billion) this month to help its distressed banks.

They also extended a deadline for Madrid to cut its public deficit to the European Union's 3.0 percent limit by one year to 2014 because of the difficult economic conditions. But traders were unimpressed.

The Spain agreements were "more or less details of procedures and unlikely to affect the entire picture of the eurozone trouble", said Yosuke Hosokawa, head of FX sales team at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank.

"Everybody knows it will take considerable time to resolve the problem."

The euro was changing hands at $1.2296 in Tokyo afternoon trade against $1.2312 in New York late Monday.

Against the Japanese currency, the euro bought 97.59 yen from 97.95 yen in US trade the previous day, while the dollar was also weaker at 79.36 yen from 79.56 yen.

On Monday, American stocks fell ahead of the earnings season, with The Dow Jones Industrial Average closing down 0.28 percent. London slipped by 0.62 percent, Frankfurt was off 0.35 percent, and Paris edged 0.38 percent lower.

On oil markets, Brent North Sea crude fell below $100, dropping $1.75 to $98.57, after a Norwegian oil workers' strike ended. New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in August dived 97 cents to $85.02 a barrel.

Gold was worth $1,585.19 ounce at 0830 GMT, compared with $1,585.20 late Monday.

In other markets:

-- Taipei fell 0.80 percent, or 58.61 points, to 7,251.35.

Hon Hai Precision lost 1.96 percent to Tw$90.1 while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. ended 1.13 percent lower at Tw$79.1.

-- Wellington fell 0.44 percent, or 15.47 points, to 3,464.72.

Fletcher Building was down 1.6 percent at NZ$6.10, Telecom Corp. was up 0.4 percent at NZ$2.25 and Air New Zealand held steady at NZ$0.91.

-- Manila closed 0.45 percent, or 23.46 points, lower at 5,240.28.

Ayala Land Inc. fell 2.55 percent to 21.05 pesos while Banco de Oro remained unchanged at 62.25 pesos.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • First China air force drills in 'far offshore' Pacific
    First China air force drills in 'far offshore' Pacific

    China's air force has carried out its first ever military drill over the western Pacific Ocean, state media said, highlighting Beijing's growing military reach. Several aircraft from China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) on Monday flew over the ocean via the Bashi Channel, which runs between Taiwan and the Philippines, the official Xinhua news agency said. "This is the first time that the PLA Air Force conducted such drills in an airspace far offshore from Chinese coastlines," Xinhua cited …

  • Shorter hours for rail lines tomorrow
    Shorter hours for rail lines tomorrow

    The Metro Rail Transit (MRT), Light Rail Transit (LRT) and the Philippine National Railways (PNR) will have shorter hours tomorrow for the replacement of defective railroad tracks during the Holy Week. …

  • Noy increases allowances for cops, soldiers
    Noy increases allowances for cops, soldiers

    President Aquino has signed a joint congressional resolution raising the daily subsistence allowance for both members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP). Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Aquino signed last March 27 the merged Joint Resolution 2 of the Senate and Joint Resolution 26 of the House of Representatives. Speaking to reporters, Lacierda yesterday said the daily allowances of police officers and soldiers were raised from P90 …

  • Oil firms raise gas prices today
    Oil firms raise gas prices today

    This year’s Holy Week break will be accompanied by an increase in local pump prices after oil companies announced yesterday a P1.10 per liter hike for gasoline and P0.60 per liter for diesel effective today. “Phoenix Petroleum Philippines will increase the prices of gasoline by P1.10 per liter and diesel by P0.60 per liter effective 6 a.m. of March 31, 2015 to reflect the movements in the prices of refined petroleum products in the international market,” said Phoenix Petroleum, an independent …

  • DFA denies dropping Phl claim to Sabah
    DFA denies dropping Phl claim to Sabah

    The Philippines has never offered to drop its Sabah claim in exchange for Malaysia’s support for Manila’s arbitration case against China over the West Philippine Sea issue, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said yesterday. “In the context of our friendly bilateral relations, our two countries have been for years exchanging ways on how to address the issue of the extended continental shelf (ECS) in the South China Sea,” Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose said in explaining the DFA’s …

  • Pagcor remits record high P5 B to national treasury
    Pagcor remits record high P5 B to national treasury

    The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) has remitted P5 billion in cash dividends to the National Treasury, fully settling all its arrears incurred in the last several years. Pagcor chairman and chief executive officer Cristino Naguiat Jr. said with this year’s remittance, the state-owned gaming firm has fully settled all remaining arrears in cash dividends that were incurred by the previous administration since 2005. Pagcor’s cash dividends to the National Treasury under its …

  • Maysak moves closer to Phl
    Maysak moves closer to Phl

    The typhoon with international name Maysak slightly accelerated as it moved closer to the Philippines yesterday, threatening to dump rains over eastern Luzon this weekend, the state weather bureau said. Rene Paciente, senior weather forecaster of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), said Maysak was spotted at 2,175 kilometers east of Mindanao as of 1 p.m. yesterday. Paciente said based on their latest forecast, Maysak is likely to affect …

  • Phl gets P2-B climate projects from Germany
    Phl gets P2-B climate projects from Germany

    The Philippines is getting 41 million euros or around P2 billion from the International Climate Initiative (ICI) of Germany that will fund 10 bilateral projects to address the impact of climate change. Climate Change Commission (CCC) vice chairman Lucille Sering yesterday met with Norbert Gorissen – head of the International Climate Finance of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety – to discuss the projects, some of which will be …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options