EMERGING MARKETS-Asia stocks, currencies fall as China data dents recovery hopes

EMERGING MARKETS-Asia stocks, currencies fall as China data dents recovery hopes

Reuters  | Aug 14, 2020 13:20

EMERGING MARKETS-Asia stocks, currencies fall as China data dents recovery hopes

* Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks https://tmsnrt.rs/3f2vwbA
* South Korea stocks fall most
* China data disappoints, but analysts still see a recovery

By Nikhil Nainan
Aug 14 (Reuters) - A surprise fall in Chinese retail sales
knocked Asia's emerging market stocks and currencies on Friday,
on fading hopes the world's second-largest economy could make a
swift recovery from its COVID-19 slump.
Investors had taken recent data from the world's second
largest economy, the first to emerge from lockdowns against the
coronavirus, as an indicator it was getting back up to speed,
but July retail sales unexpectedly fell and factory output
missed estimates. Asian markets most heavily correlated with Chinese demand
and global trade flows fell sharply with Seoul stocks .KS11
diving 1.6%, while markets in Kuala Lumpur .KLSE and Bangkok
.SETI losing around 0.7%.
The falls were more muted on currencies, with the won
KRW=KFTC down 0.2% and Indonesia's rupiah IDR= around half a
percent, while the Philippines peso PHP= gained.
In China, the yuan CNY=CFXS was little changed and the
Shanghai Composite Index .SSEC fell by close to a fifth of a
percent.
"I would say it's more a kneejerk reaction," said Julian
Wee, an investment strategist at Credit Suisse in Singapore,
referring to the fall.
"The data overall indicates that the reopening is still
proceeding smoothly in North Asia and the vigilance of the
authorities in both China and Korea suggests a meaningful
reversal of the reopening is unlikely."
Data from Malaysia also showed gross domestic product shrank
more than expected in the second quarter - its worst contraction
in over two decades - but the central bank said the worst was
likely over. Malaysian shares .KLSE and the ringgit MYR= stuck
roughly to trading ranges prior to the numbers. The central bank
expects the economy to contract between 3.5% and 5.5% this year,
before rebounding and growing between 5.5% and 8% in 2021.
Traders remain cautious ahead of trade talks between the
United States and China on Saturday, at a time where relations
between the two are fraught and the U.S. presidential election
approaches.

HIGHLIGHTS:
** Malaysia's economy shrank by 17.1% in Q2, compared with
Reuters poll forecast of a 10% decline
** China Industrial output grew 4.8% in July from a year
earlier, less than forecasts for a 5.1% rise; Retail sales
dropped 1.1%, missing predictions for a 0.1% rise
** Top losers in Malaysia include Top Glove Corp TPGC.KL
and Hartalega Holdings Bhd HTHB.KL
Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0410 GMT
COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX INDEX STOCKS STOCKS
DAILY % YTD % DAILY % YTD %
Japan JPY= +0.02 +1.60 .N225 0.10 -1.62
China CNY=CFXS -0.02 +0.23 .SSEC -0.16 8.70
India INR=IN +0.00 -4.62 .NSEI 0.41 -6.75
Indonesia IDR= -0.47 -6.02 .JKSE 0.05 -16.79
Malaysia MYR= -0.07 -2.48 .KLSE -0.73 -1.51
Philippines PHP= +0.18 +3.85 .PSI -0.90 -22.68
S.Korea KRW=KFTC -0.23 -2.50 .KS11 -1.62 9.12
Singapore SGD= -0.03 -2.06 .STI -0.12 -19.54
Taiwan TWD=TP +0.42 +2.36 .TWII -0.02 6.37
Thailand THB=TH +0.00 -3.70 .SETI -0.66 -15.32

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