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Asian Stocks Up, China Releases Latest Economic Data

Stock MarketsJan 16, 2022 09:54PM ET
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By Gina Lee – Asia Pacific stocks were mostly up on Monday morning, with investors digesting the latest economic data from China and what further steps the country will take to spur economic growth.

China’s Shanghai Composite was up 0.29% by 9:28 PM ET (2:28 AM GMT) and the Shenzhen Component rose 0.77%. Data released earlier in the day showed that the GDP grew 4% year-on-year and 1.6% quarter-on-quarter in the fourth quarter. Industrial production grew 4.3% year-on-year and retail sales grew 1.7% year-on-year in December, while the unemployment rate was at 5.1%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.75%.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.69%, with the Bank of Japan handing down its policy decision on Tuesday.

South Korea’s KOSPI slid 1.12% while in Australia, the ASX 200 edged up 0.15%.

U.S. stock and bond markets are closed on Monday for a holiday.

However, China continues to grapple with a real estate downturn, power shortages, and the latest COVID-19 outbreaks. 

Bond yields in Australia and New Zealand climbed after a slide in U.S. Treasuries at the end of the previous week. However, the benchmark 10-year U.S. yield is back up to pre-COVID-19 levels.

China’s outlook, tighter U.S. Federal Reserve monetary policy, and the omicron COVID-19 variant are all coloring investor sentiment. The Fed should raise its interest rate by a bigger-than-expected 50 basis points in March 2022 to “restore its credibility”, according to investor Bill Ackman.

Investors are also looking to the earnings season to see whether profits can help slow a retreat in global equities, partly attributable to a slide in U.S. technology shares.

“Given the record inflation backdrop and historically tight labor market, investor focus is on margins; demonstrating pricing power, passing on rising costs to the customer,” Evercore ISI chief equity and quantitative strategist Julian Emanuel said in a note.

Meanwhile, Axel P. Lehmann was named chairman at Credit Suisse Group AG (SIX:CSGN). Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE:GS), Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC), Unitedhealth Group Inc . (SA:UNHH34), and Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) are among the companies publishing earnings during the week.

The U.S. releases data including the Empire State manufacturing index on Tuesday, followed by building permits a day later.

Nations due to be handing down interest rate decisions on Thursday include Indonesia, Malaysia, Norway, Turkey, and Ukraine.

Asian Stocks Up, China Releases Latest Economic Data

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