(Asian Markets) China’s GDP Data Disappoints

currency hedger wealth managers.jpg

Asian stock markets are mostly lower on Friday following the negative cues from Wall Street amid worries about trade tensions and rising interest rates. In addition, data released by China showed that the country’s GDP growth for the third quarter of 2018 came in below expectations, marking the weakest pace of economic growth since the first quarter of 2009.

On a yearly basis, China’s GDP for the third quarter climbed 6.5 percent – shy of estimates for 6.6 percent and down from 6.7 percent in the previous three months. In addition, data showed that China’s industrial production also missed estimates, while retail sales and fixed asset investment topped expectations.

The Australian market is declining, tracking the overnight losses on Wall Street and as investors digested weak GDP data from China, Australia’s largest trading partner.

In late-morning trades, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 21.70 points or 0.37 percent to 5,920.70, off a low of 5,883.30 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 23.90 points or 0.40 percent to 6,026.20. Australian stocks rebounded from early losses to finish marginally higher on Thursday.

In the mining space, BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals are all losing more than 1 percent each.

Gold miners are mixed after safe-haven gold prices rose overnight. Evolution Mining is rising more than 1 percent, while Newcrest Mining is lower by 0.3 percent.

Among oil stocks, Santos is adding 0.4 percent, while Oil Search is declining 0.2 percent and Woodside Petroleum is edging down 0.1 percent as crude oil prices extended losses overnight.

Meanwhile, the big four banks are mostly higher. ANZ Banking, Commonwealth Bank and Westpac are advancing in a range of 0.1 percent to 0.3 percent, while National Australia Bank is down 0.5 percent.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is lower against the U.S. dollar on Friday. The local currency was quoted at $0.7098, down from $0.7135 on Thursday.

The Japanese market is extending loses from the previous session following the overnight sell-off on Wall Street as well as on weak China GDP data. In addition, the safe-haven yen strengthened, dragging exporters’ shares lower.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is losing 207.46 points or 0.92 percent to 22,450.70, after falling to a low of 22,212.57 earlier. Japanese shares fell on Thursday.

Among the major exporters, Sony is declining more than 2 percent, while Mitsubishi Electric and Panasonic are losing almost 1 percent each. Canon is down 0.6 percent. SoftBank is lower by more than 2 percent.

Among auto makers, Honda is declining more than 1 percent and Toyota is down 1 percent. In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is lower by almost 1 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is down 0.5 percent.

In the oil space, Japan Petroleum is losing 0.6 percent, while Inpex is adding 0.1 percent after crude oil prices extended losses overnight.

In the tech sector, Advantest is falling more than 2 percent, while Tokyo Electron is adding 0.6 percent.

Among the worst performers, Marui Group and Credit Saison are falling almost 7 percent each, while Komatsu, Denka Co. and Rakuten are declining more than 4 percent each.

In economic news, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication said that consumer prices in Japan were up 1.2 percent on year in September. That was shy of expectations for an increase of 1.3 percent, which would have been unchanged from the August reading.

Core CPI, which excludes volatile food prices, advanced an annual 1.0 percent – matching forecasts and up from 0.9 percent in the previous month.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 112 yen-range on Friday.

Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia and Malaysia are also lower. Shanghai and Hong Kong are modestly higher, staging recovery after tumbling at the open.

On Wall Street, stocks closed sharply lower on Thursday after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced he will not attend an upcoming investment conference in Saudi Arabia, which continues to face considerable international pressure over the recent disappearance and apparent murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Lingering concerns about the outlook for interest rates also weighed on the markets.

The Dow tumbled 327.23 points or 1.3 percent to 25,379.54, the Nasdaq plunged 157.56 points or 2.1 percent to 7,485.14 and the S&P 500 slumped 40.43 points or 1.4 percent to 2,768.78.

The major European markets also moved to the downside on Thursday. While the German DAX Index tumbled by 1.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index fell by 0.6 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index dropped by 0.4 percent.

Crude oil prices fell on Thursday to extend losses from the previous session after data showed an unexpected rise in U.S. inventories. WTI crude for November delivery tumbled $1.10 or 1.6 percent to $68.65 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.