Asian Stocks Mixed, Taking “Breather” Over More Disappointing China Data

This post was originally published on this site – Asia Pacific stocks were mixed on Wednesday morning, even as China released more disappointing data. Investors are also asking questions whether the global economic recovery from COVID-19 is durable and awaiting central bank decisions on when to begin asset tapering,

China’s Shanghai Composite inched down 0.06% by 10:14 PM ET (2:14 AM GMT) and the Shenzhen Component fell 0.66%. The Caixin manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI), released earlier in the day, was a disappointing 49.2 in August, below the 50-mark indicating growth.

This follows data released on Tuesday that showed the manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) was at 50.1 and the non-manufacturing PMI at 47.5. The Caixin services PMI will be released on Friday.

Chinese President Xi Jinping also chaired a meeting that backed further regulatory tightening in certain sectors. Meanwhile, China Evergrande Group’s (HK:3333) Hong Kong shares fell after the property developer warned it could default on borrowings.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped 1.33%.

Japan’s Nikkei rose 1.14% and South Korea’s KOSPI inched up 0.01%.

In Australia, the ASX 200 was down 0.51%, with much of the country remaining under lockdown thanks to the latest COVID-19 outbreak. Data released earlier in the day said that GDP grew a better-than-expected 9.6% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2021. It grew 0.7% quarter-on-quarter.

In the U.S. the Conference Board (CB) consumer confidence index was 113.8, a six-month low. Meanwhile, the S&P/Case-Shiller 20 n.s.a. house price index composite grew a record 19.1% in June.

Global shares remain near record levels, but some investors are starting to question whether the economic recovery from COVID-19 has peaked.

“Markets are taking a little bit of a breather,” Cornerstone Wealth chief investment officer Cliff Hodge told Bloomberg, adding they “are now trying to grapple with well, what’s next?”

Across the Atlantic, the Eurozone consumer price index (CPI) grew a better-than-expected 3% year-on-year in August. Some European Central Bank (ECB) officials, including Governing Council member Robert Holzmann, made hawkish comments suggesting that the central bank should begin asset tapering ahead of the Governing Council meeting due to meet in the following week.

The latest U.S. jobs report, including non-farm payrolls, is due on Friday.