Asian stocks fall as China profit growth slows –

Asian stocks fall as China profit growth slows

Asian stocks swung to a loss and US equity futures fell as slowing Chinese industrial profit growth sapped optimism after last week’s equity rally. The yen strengthened against all its Group-of-10 peers.

China shares led declines as data showed profits at the nation’s industrial companies climbed at a slower pace, suggesting the economic recovery remains uncertain. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index dropped as much as 1.4 per cent while CSI 300 Index closed 1.2 per cent lower in Monday’s morning session. Benchmarks also fell in Australia and Japan.

Equities trimmed some of last week’s gains amid uncertainty before the next installment of key global economic data this week including euro-zone inflation data, China PMIs and US personal consumption numbers on Thursday, and US, European and Chinese PMIs on Friday.

Asian markets had little direction from the US following the holiday shortened post – Thanksgiving session Friday.

“We’ve seen US bond yields gap higher at the open, and that has weighed on equity market sentiment to send US futures down alongside Chinese markets that are already under pressure from weak industrial profits,” said Matt Simpson, a senior market strategist at City Index Inc.

US stock futures dropped in Asia after the S&P 500 capped a fourth week of gains Friday, when the VIX — Wall Street’s “fear gauge” and a measure of equity volatility — fell to its lowest level since January 2020. 

The subdued growth at Chinese industrial companies will likely keep firms cautious about expanding or hiring more, which in turn could add more pressure on prices. Profits increased just 2.7% in October from a year ago, down from September’s 11.9% gain.

“The profit numbers show that current recovery momentum is still fairly fragile,” Dong Chen, head of Asia macroeconomic research at Pictet Wealth Management, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “We still have a long way to go to get out of the woods.”

This week, investors will be looking closely at Chinese activity data to gauge the health of the world’s second-largest economy. Traders will be assessing shadow banking stocks after Chinese authorities said they recently opened criminal investigations into the money management business of Zhongzhi Enterprise Group Co. 

In Hong Kong, the one-month interbank offered rate jumped to the highest since 2007 as the supply of cash tightened toward year-end. 

‘Remain Heavy’

Treasury 10-year yields climbed as much as five basis points to 4.51 per cent, the highest in more than a week.

The dollar was mixed in Asian trade after Bloomberg’s index of the greenback slipped 0.5 per cent last week.

The US currency may “remain heavy” for most of the week as fund managers adjust hedges and cash heads into developing economies, Commonwealth Bank of Australia strategists including Joseph Capurso wrote in a note to clients. “The backdrop of low volatility and expectations for a soft landing in the US economy supports portfolio capital flows into emerging markets,” they said. 

In earnings due this week, Crowdstrike Holdings Inc. will underscore how businesses are prioritising cybersecurity after recent high-profile corporate hacks, while Salesforce Inc. and Dell Technologies Inc. are expected to post slower sales growth as overall corporate expenditure tightens.

Traders will also be keeping an eye on gold and oil after Israel and Hamas signaled that a temporary cease-fire in Gaza could be extended beyond Monday to allow for the release of more hostages and prisoners. Oil fell for a fourth day as traders looked ahead to this week’s delayed OPEC+ meeting and wider financial markets carried a risk-off tone.

Key events this week: 
  • European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde appears in parliamentary committee, Monday
  • Australia retail sales, Tuesday
  • NATO foreign ministers meet, Tuesday
  • US Conf. Board consumer confidence, Tuesday
  • Fed Governor Chris Waller, Chicago Fed President Austan Goolsbee speak at different events, Tuesday
  • Australia CPI, Wednesday
  • Reserve Bank of New Zealand policy decision, Wednesday
  • Eurozone economic confidence, consumer confidence, Wednesday
  • Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey speaks, Wednesday
  • US wholesale inventories, GDP, Wednesday
  • Fed releases its Beige Book of regional economic activity, Wednesday
  • Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester speaks, Wednesday
  • China non-manufacturing and manufacturing PMIs, Thursday
  • Eurozone CPI, Thursday
  • US PCE deflator, Thursday
  • OPEC+ meeting, focused on finalizing output levels for 2024, Thursday
  • China Caixin manufacturing PMI, Friday
  • Eurozone manufacturing PMI, Friday
  • UK S&P Global/CIPS Manufacturing PMI, Friday
  • US construction spending, ISM Manufacturing, light vehicle sales, Friday
  • Fed Chair Jerome Powell, Chicago Fed President Austan Goolsbee speak at separate events, Friday
Some key moves in markets: 


  • S&P 500 futures fell 0.3% as of 1:59 p.m. Tokyo time. The S&P 500 was little changed on Friday
  • Nasdaq 100 futures fell 0.5%. The Nasdaq 100 fell 0.1%
  • Japan’s Topix fell 0.3%
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.7%
  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 1%
  • The Shanghai Composite fell 0.8%
  • Euro Stoxx 50 futures fell 0.4%


  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed
  • The euro was little changed at $1.0947
  • The Japanese yen rose 0.3% to 149.01 per dollar
  • The offshore yuan fell 0.2% to 7.1617 per dollar
  • The Australian dollar fell 0.2% to $0.6574
  • The British pound was little changed at $1.2607


  • Bitcoin fell 0.6% to $37,391.56
  • Ether fell 1.1% to $2,052.62


  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries advanced two basis points to 4.49%
  • Japan’s 10-year yield advanced one basis point to 0.780%
  • Australia’s 10-year yield was little changed at 4.55%


  • West Texas Intermediate crude fell 1% to $74.78 a barrel
  • Spot gold rose 0.6% to $2,013.16 an ounce

This story was produced with the assistance of Bloomberg Automation.

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