By The Financial District
Asia Stocks Rally Stumped By Dire China Data
Asian share markets were struggling to sustain even a minor rally on Monday, May 16, 2022, after shockingly weak data from China underlined the deep damage lockdowns were doing to the world's second-largest economy, Wayne Cole reported for Reuters.
Photo Insert: The Shenzhen Stock Exchange
China's April retail sales plunged 11.1% on the year, almost twice the drop forecast, while industrial output dropped 2.9% when analysts had looked for a slight increase.
The risks had been to the downside given new bank lending in China hit the lowest in nearly four and half years in April. China's central bank also disappointed those hoping for a rate easing, though Beijing on Sunday did allow a further cut in mortgage loan interest rates for some home buyers.
News that Shanghai was relaxing some of its lockdown restrictions offered only cold comfort to investors. Chinese blue chips shed 0.4% in reaction, while commodity currencies took a knock led by the Australian dollar which is often used as a liquid proxy for the yuan.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan were still up 0.2%, though that followed a 2.7% slide last week when it hit a two-year low. Japan's Nikkei clung to gains of 0.6%, having lost 2.1% last week even as a weak yen offered some support to exporters.
EUROSTOXX 50 futures and FTSE futures went flat. S&P 500 stock futures lost early gains to ease 0.4%, while Nasdaq futures fell 0.3%. Both are far from last year's highs, with the S&P having fallen for six straight weeks.
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