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2/15/2016, 8:58 AM (Source: TeleTrader)
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China: Imports-exports plunge, yuan goes up

Stock markets in China have had a mixed reaction on a string of economic data published on Monday.

The mainland Shanghai Composite index closed down 0.59% to 2,747 points, while the smaller Shenzhen index dipped 0.20% to 466 points.

In Hong Kong, the picture was vastly different, as the Hang Seng index climbed 3.27% for the day to close at 18,918 points.

In January, the imports plunged 18.8% and exports dived 11.2%, according to data published by the National Bureau of Statistics. That comes as just a month ago numbers were showing a drop in imports of 0.8%, and the exports fall of 1.4%.

Expressed in yuan-denominated data, exports in January fell 6.6%, and imports were significantly lower, down 14.4% when compared to the same month a year ago. That has left a monthly trade surplus of around 406 billion yuan.

The People's Republic of China had a January trade surplus of $63.3 billion.

There was a 12% growth in retail sales in the week-long Lunar New Year holiday season, in comparison with the festivity-related spending a year ago, according to data from the Ministry of Commerce.

The Chinese yuan has rose to 6.5118 for one U.S. dollar. The daily fix by the People's Bank of China was set before market open, and was the highest in 2016 so far, and up from the last fix at 6.5314 for $1 on February 5, before Lunar New Year holiday. That compares to the drop of 1.5% of the U.S. dollar index against the basket of major world currencies in the week, which pushed the offshore yuan value up by 0.9%.

Chinese economy, the second largest in the world, has slowed significantly, growing 6.8% in the fourth quarter of 2015, as the January data have shown.

Breaking the News / ZR