Asian Markets Mixed After China GDP, UK Data In GBP Sights

Talking Points:

  • Asian stocks put in a narrow, mixed session
  • Chinese growth data met expectations, and retail sales exceeded them
  • Industrial production however underwhelmed

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Asian markets put in a mixed showing Tuesday, with most major bourses drifting lower.

The day’s main data release was official Chinese Gross Domestic Product for the first quarter. GDP rose 6.8% on the year, as expected, with retail sales also surging. Industrial production however was somewhat softer. Its 6% rise was the weakest since last August.

The Nikkei 225 ended the session higher, but only just, rising 0.06%, with the ASX 200 flat and Chinese stocks lower. The return of risk appetite in Monday’s US session – on a combination of relief at the apparent end of western airstrikes on Syria and hope for the corporate earnings season- failed to follow through into Asia.

The US Dollar was broadly weaker, although its Australian and New Zealand cousins went lower too, possibly spooked by rising Chinese borrowing costs. The Minutes of the last monetary policy meeting at the Reserve Bank of Australia once again revealed a central bank in no hurry at all to raise interest rates and they sent the Aussie lower too.

The UK Pound’s bullish run endures with hopes for strong local economic data and US Dollar weakness propelling GBP/USD up to new highs not seen since the shock Brexit referendum in 2016.

Oil prices were steady, reportedly with investors fretting the possibility of more supply disruption in the Middle East. Gold prices slipped back a little, although ongong trade tensions provided some support.

Coming up on the data schedule for Tuesday are Germany’s ZEW business survey, those UK employment data along with US housing starts and industrial production figures.

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— Written by David Cottle, DailyFX Research

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