Hang Seng Tumbles Over 1% in Early Trade
The Hang Seng slumped 278 points or 1.36% to 20,192 in morning deals on Tuesday after closing higher in the prior session, amid worries over the prospects of tighter monetary policy and slowing global growth. IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said in a blog post that the global economy faces its “biggest test since the Second World War.” Meantime, JP Morgan said it had downgraded China's GDP forecast again amid weak April activity data and damage from Beijing's zero-COVID policy, saying that it now look for Q2 GDP to shrink 5.4% yoy, compared with an earlier figure of a 1.5% fall. Locally, the annual inflation rate in Hong Kong was at a 3-month low iof 1.3% in April, less than forecasts of 1.9%. Almost all major sectors fell, led by consumer cyclicals and industrial. Among single stocks, BYD Company sank 5.5%, while JD.Com and Tencent fell 3.4% and 1.7%, each. XPeng Inc, an EV producer plunged 9.1% to its lowest since mid-May, after reporting a bigger net loss in Q1.
Brent Eases on Growth, Demand Concerns
Brent crude futures fell below $113 per barrel on Tuesday after rising for three straight sessions, as concerns over a possible global recession and a challenging demand outlook weighed on oil prices. Political and business leaders flagged the risk of a worldwide recession at the annual Davos economic summit amid multiple threats. IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said she did not expect a recession for major economies but could not rule one out. Investors also worried that elevated oil prices could dent consumption for fuels worldwide. Meanwhile, lingering concerns over tight global supply and hopes for demand return in China provided some support to crude prices. The head of Saudi Aramco told Reuters the world is facing a major oil supply crunch as energy firms are afraid to invest in the sector as they face green energy pressures. Chinese demand is also expected to pick up as Shanghai prepares to reopen and authorities ramped up policy support.
Oil Eases on Growth, Demand Concerns
WTI crude futures fell below $110 per barrel on Tuesday after ending flat in the previous session, as concerns over a possible global recession and a challenging demand outlook weighed on oil prices. Political and business leaders flagged the risk of a worldwide recession at the annual Davos economic summit amid multiple threats. IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said she did not expect a recession for major economies but could not rule one out. Investors also worried that elevated oil prices could dent consumption for fuels worldwide. Meanwhile, lingering concerns over tight global supply and hopes for demand return in China provided some support to crude prices. The head of Saudi Aramco told Reuters the world is facing a major oil supply crunch as energy firms are afraid to invest in the sector as they face green energy pressures. Chinese demand is also expected to pick up as Shanghai prepares to reopen and authorities ramped up policy support.
Japanese Shares Fall on Tech Weakness
The Nikkei 225 Index fell 0.25% to around 26,933 while the broader Topix Index lost 0.3% to 1,888 on Tuesday, giving back some gains from the previous session, as Japanese technology stocks tracked US futures lower after Snap warned of a hit to its top and bottom-line figures amid deteriorating macroeconomic trends. Investors also assessed latest data showing Japan’s manufacturing activity expanded at the slowest pace in three months, as supply bottlenecks due to parts shortages and China's COVID lockdowns caused output and new orders growth to slow. SoftBank Group (-1.8%) led the decline among technology shares, along with Recruit Holdings (-4.8%), Fronteo (-1.7%), Renesas Electronics (-1.8%) and Mitsui High Tec (-3.5%). Retail, consumer and service-related firms also declined, while commodity and financial stocks limited the downside.
Japan Services PMI Rises to 5-Month High
The au Jibun Bank Japan Services PMI increased to a five-month high of 51.7 in May 2022 from a final 50.7 in April, flash data showed. The latest figure was also the second straight month of expansion in services activity, due to the easing of pandemic-related restrictions and the diminishing impact of the virus, notably in the tourism sector. New orders grew the most since last December while rebounding sharply from the previous month. Meantime, employment rose further, despite the rate of increased slowed; while backlogs of work rose following a decline in April. On prices, input cost inflation accelerated to the highest on record, linked to greater reports of material shortages. Consequently, output charge inflation rose to the sharpest since October 2019. Finally, sentiment softened, reflecting uncertainty in global condition.
US Futures Drop Amid Snap Warning
US stock futures dropped on Tuesday after a broad overnight rally, as Snap warned that it is unlikely to meet revenue and profit forecasts for the second quarter amid deteriorating macroeconomic trends. Nasdaq 100 futures fared worst with a 1.2% loss, followed by S&P 500 and Dow futures which fell 0.6% and 0.3%, respectively. The Snapchat owner’s shares plunged 31% in extended trading, dragging other internet giants including Meta Platforms (-7.1%), Twitter (-3.7%) and Alphabet (-3.4%). The moves came as the markets staged a rebound in regular trading on Monday after last week’s selloff, led by the Dow’s 1.98% surge. The S&P 500 also jumped 1.86% and the Nasdaq Composite gained 1.59%. All 11 S&P sectors finished higher, led by energy and financial stocks. Monday’s rebound was helped by Biden’s comments that China tariffs imposed by Trump are being reviewed. Investors now look ahead to a speech from Jerome Powell on Tuesday and the latest Fed minutes on Wednesday.
Japan Manufacturing Growth Eases to 3-Month Low
The au Jibun Bank Japan Manufacturing PMI declined to a three-month low of 53.2 in May 2022 from a final 53.5 a month earlier but pointed to the 16th straight month of expansion as COVID-19 situation improved further, preliminary reading showed. Both output and new order growth eased to a marginal pace that was the weakest for three months, amid supply chain disruptions due to the Ukraine war. Also, buying level eased, while foreign orders dropped at a steeper rate amid renewed lockdown measures across China and the impact of the Ukraine war. Meantime, employment rose faster, as did with backlogs of works. Delivery times lengthened the most since April 2011, due to material shortage and curbs in China, which contributed to the third-strongest increase in input prices in the survey history. That said, output price inflation slowed. Finally, business confidence improved.
Japan Composite PMI Hits 5-Month High
The au Jibun Bank Japan Composite PMI edged up to a five-month high of 51.4 in May 2022 from a final 51.1 a month earlier, flash data showed. The latest reading also marked the third straight month of growth in private sector activity, amid the reduced impact of COVID-19, mainly in the tourism sector. Services activity grew the most in five months while the expansion in manufacturing output was the softest since last December. New orders returned to growth after being unchanged in April, while employment continued to rise. Meantime, export sales shrank faster, due to the renewed lockdown measures across China and economic sanctions placed on Russia amid the Ukraine war. As a result, there was a further intensification in price pressures, as firms reported series-record rises in both input and output prices. Moreover, uncertainty regarding the outlook for price and supply conditions dampened business confidence, which was at its softest since August 2021.
Australia Composite PMI Slows to 4-Month Low
The S&P Global Australia Flash Composite PMI declined to 52.5 in May 2022 from a final reading of 55.9 in April, marking the 4th consecutive month of expansion for the private sector but at the slowest pace in the current sequence. Private sector output growth eased in May, weighed by a contraction of manufacturing output while services business activity remained in expansion. Although the easing of COVID-19 restrictions continued to support private sector output expansion, issues around a COVID-related labor and supply crunch and domestic flooding affected manufacturing production in May. Overall demand nevertheless remained in growth across both the manufacturing and service sectors, supporting private sector workforce expansion in May. Private sector firms also continued to experience higher costs in May amid the war in Ukraine, lockdowns in China and domestic flooding, with input prices rising at the third fastest rate on record.
Australia Services PMI Slows to 4-Month Low
The S&P Global Australia Flash Services PMI fell to 53 in May 2022 from a final reading of 56.1 in April, marking the 4th straight month that services output expanded, albeit at the slowest pace in the current sequence. The easing of COVID-19 restrictions continued to support the expansions of new orders and business activity in May, though poor weather conditions and higher interest rates were blamed for the growth slowdown. New export business expanded for the third straight month following the easing of border restrictions. Price pressures persisted with both input costs and output prices rising at rates amongst the fastest on record. Higher purchase prices, fuel costs and wages were listed as items contributing to the increase in cost burdens. Overall business optimism in the service sector nevertheless improved in May.
Peru Economy Expands 3.8% in Q1
Peru’s economy advanced 3.8 percent year-on year in the first quarter of 2022, picking up from the 3.2 percent expansion in the previous period as the economy continued to recover from the recession brought by the pandemic. The main contributors to GDP growth were transportation and storage (12.4 percent vs 17.9 percent in Q4), hotels and restaurants (49.4 percent vs 43.3 percent), agriculture (3.7 percent vs 3.8 percent), and commerce (5.9 percent vs 18 percent). On the other hand, output fell for construction (-0.5 percent vs 35.5 percent) and financial services (-5.3 percent vs 6.1 percent). On a seasonally adjusted quarterly basis, the GDP rose by 0.9 percent, after remaining constant during the fourth quarter.
Australia Manufacturing PMI at 4-Month Low
The S&P Global Australia Flash Manufacturing PMI eased to 55.3 in May 2022 from a final reading of 58.8 in April, marking the 24th successive month in which conditions in the manufacturing sector strengthened, though at the slowest pace in 4 months. Manufacturing production contracted in May following 3 months of growth with panelists linking the slowdown to flooding and COVID-related labor and supply shortages. That said, new orders continued to expand, driving higher levels of employment and purchasing activity. Manufacturers also reported increasing their stocks of purchases to mitigate against price fluctuations and delays. Indeed, suppliers’ delivery times continued to lengthen in May at a rate far exceeding the survey average. At the same time, input costs rose at a rapid pace, leading to output prices climbing at the second fastest rate on record. Manufacturers attributed the increase in costs to the Ukraine war, COVID-19 disruptions in China and domestic flooding.
New Zealand Retail Sales Retreat in Q1
Retail sales in New Zealand fell 0.5% percent on the quarter in the first three months of 2022, compared to the downwardly revised 8.3 percent increase in the previous period. Sales significantly fell for hardware, building, and garden supplies (-5.5 percent vs 31.8 percent in Q4), motor vehicles and parts (-4 percent vs 19.4 percent), and non-store and commission-based retailing (-10.4 percent vs 8.5 percent), while while food and beverages services (-0.3 percent vs 11.8 percent) fell to a lower extend. On the other hand, increases were seen for pharmaceutical and other store-based retailing (3.5 percent vs 5.6 percent), electrical goods (2.7 percent vs 2.1 percent), and supermarket and grocery stores (0.7 percent vs -5.2 percent). Year-on-year, retail sales went up by 2.3 percent, easing from the 4.4 percent rise in the previous period.
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