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Asian stocks flat as China trade disappoints; earnings, inflation in focus

Published Aug 07, 2023 11:42PM ET
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Investing.com -- Most Asian stocks moved little on Tuesday as markets hunkered down ahead of more cues from key inflation data and a slew of major earnings this week, while Chinese shares were hit by a fresh wave of selling in property stocks. 

Softer-than-expected Chinese trade data also dampened sentiment towards the region, as both Chinese imports and exports sank at their fastest pace since the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. 

Inflation readings from the U.S. and China are set to offer more insight into the world’s largest economies this week, although both readings are likely to move in opposite directions. Analysts are expecting a slight increase in U.S. consumer inflation through July, while Chinese inflation is expected to remain close to contraction.

Chinese stocks lag on weak trade data, property rout 

Chinese shares were among the worst performers for the day, with the Hang Seng index down 1.2% on steep losses in major property stocks. Longfor Properties (HK:0960) and Country Garden Holdings (HK:2007), some of the biggest property developers in China, dropped around 6% in Hong Kong trade after Country Garden was downgraded further into junk territory by Moody’s.

The ratings agency also flagged increased headwinds to China’s property sector from slowing sales and dwindling sources of funding.

China’s Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 and Shanghai Composite indexes were flat as data showed the country’s exports and imports continued to decline in July. The reading points to more pressure on the Chinese economy from weak demand, and also bodes poorly for broader Asian markets with trade exposure to the country. 

Australia’s ASX 200 rose marginally on Tuesday, while South Korea’s KOSPI fell 0.1%. 

The Taiwan Weighted index sank 0.8%, while futures for India’s Nifty 50 index pointed to a negative open, ahead of a Reserve Bank meeting this week. 

Major Asian earnings on tap this week 

Earnings reports from some of Asia’s biggest companies are also on tap this week, with Japanese technology conglomerate SoftBank Group (TYO:9984) set to report quarterly earnings later on Tuesday. Shares of the firm rose 1.2% on expectations that a rally in tech stocks helped the firm turn profitable during the June quarter. 

Broader Japanese stocks were mildly positive, with the Nikkei 225 adding 0.3%, while the TOPIX rose 0.3%. 

Apart from SoftBank, Japanese tech giant Sony Corp (TYO:6758) is also set to report quarterly earnings on Wednesday, while Commonwealth Bank Of Australia (ASX:CBA), the country’s largest lender, will report its annual earnings. 

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group (NYSE:BABA) (HK:9988) will release its quarterly earnings on Thursday, potentially offering more cues on the state of Chinese markets, while also serving up more details on its plans to split into six separate firms.

 
Asian stocks flat as China trade disappoints; earnings, inflation in focus
 

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Comments (2)
Ge K
Ge K Aug 08, 2023 1:06AM ET
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Who cares, just keep buying American made. Go Brando
Ben Law
Ben Law Aug 07, 2023 11:48PM ET
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look we all know china in bad shape sikit sikit report macam byk free
 
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