Asian Stocks Down Ahead of Chinese Trade Data

This post was originally published on this site – Asia Pacific stocks were mostly down on Tuesday morning, with investors awaiting the latest Chinese trade data and Japanese shares continuing their rally.

China’s Shanghai Composite edged down 0.11% by 9:33 PM ET (1:45 AM GMT) while the Shenzhen Component was steady at 14,565.60. Investors await trade data, including imports, exports and the trade balance, due later in the day. Further data, including the consumer and producer price indexes, will be released on Thursday.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index edged down 0.13%.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.71% after hitting the 30,000-mark for the first time since April 2021. South Korea’s KOSPI fell 0.70%.

In Australia, the ASX 200 was down 0.41%, with the Reserve Bank of Australia due to hand down its policy decision later in the day.

Global shares remain at record levels despite lingering concerns about COVID-19’s impact on both the economic recovery and inflation. Weaker-than-expected non-farm payrolls data in the previous week’s U.S. jobs report also raised expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve would delay beginning asset tapering.

“The Delta, and other potential COVID-19 variants, remain a cause for concern as the disease is spreading rapidly through unvaccinated communities and the efficacy of the 2021 vintage of vaccines is being questioned,” AXA Investment Managers chief investment officer for core investments Chris Iggo said in a note.

“I don’t think the recovery and growth outlook is negated by this but there could be some ‘air-pockets’ in the data and in investor sentiment,” the note added.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE:GS) analysts also revised their forecasts for economic expansion downwards, with consumer spending impacted in part by the spread of COVID-19’s Delta variant. The number of daily COVID-19 cases in the U.S. also continues to rise, highlighting gaps in the vaccine rollout.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Joe Biden is likely to decide whether to re-nominate Fed Chairman Jerome Powell for a second term within the week. Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan is also due to speak on Wednesday.

Across the Atlantic, the European Central Bank will hand down its policy decision on Thursday.