Asian stocks slide on drop in China's imports

Markets 1/14/2019, 8:31 AM
Asian stocks slide on drop in China's imports

The main equity exchanges in Asia suffered a drop on Monday as statistics revealed imports tumbled 7.6% last month in dollar terms on an annual scale, compared to 3% growth from November. Exports came in 4.4% lower than one year ago after growing 5.4%. Export growth was only 0.2% in yuan, following a jump of 10.2% recorded for the previous month, while imports landed 3.1% down, after rising 7.8% in November.

The shift could make trade talks with the United States more difficult as China's dollar surplus rose substantially. Data for the full year showed export growth of 7.1% and import increase of 12.9% in yuan terms, compared to jumps of 9.9% and 15.8%, respectively, in dollars, bringing the surplus to $351 billion, most of which was from bilateral trade with the US.

The Shanghai Composite weakened 0.71% at the close and the main index in Shenzhen lost 0.73%. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was down 1.59%, while South Korean Kospi finished 0.53% in the hole. The Australian S&P/ASX 200 earlier slipped just 0.02% and trading was paused for a public holiday in Tokyo. Gold added 0.2% at 8:16 am CET to sell for $1,290.87 per ounce. The dollar was 0.35% in the red at ¥108.167 as investors turned to the yen amid risk aversion.

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