Morning Brief: Asian markets rise despite disappointing Chinese data

Asian stocks are trading mixed after negotiations between Democrats and Republicans on a new U.S. stimulus package failed, causing investors’ concerns about the state of the global economy to rise further.

U.S. initial jobless claims show signs of improvement, however, as the trend is shifting downwards, although still nowhere near pre-Coronavirus levels. Initial Jobless Claims hit 963K, below earlier estimates of 1,120K on August 7. The 4-week average dropped to 1,252.75K on August 7 from 1,337.75K the previous week. Continuing Jobless Claims came in at 15.486M, also below the estimates of 15.898M in the week of July 31. 

Investors await the meeting on Saturday between high-level officials from China and the USA to discuss the phase one trade agreement progress.

China retail sales and industrial production disappoints

Fresh economic data from China disappointed investors, despite China showing some signs of recovery last week. China Retail Sales came in at -1.1% – below expectations of 0.1% in July. Industrial Production registered at 4.8% in July below the forecasts of 5.1%. 

The ASX 200 index in Australia ended 0.58% higher at 6,126. Nikkei 225 ended 0.17% higher at 23,289. The Shanghai Composite index is 1.09% higher at 3,357. The Singapore Straits Times index is 0.01% higher at 2,596.

Gold is Asian session gains

Gold is trading lower today as it hit 1,962 during the Asian trading session as the high volatility continues for the precious metal after the recent sharp correction. The price hit 1,863 the lowest level since July 22 but managed to return above the 1,900 mark. As of writing, the gold price is 0.34% lower at 1,944.  

Crude Oil Price Lower For Second Day

Crude oil price continues lower for the second straight day as the profit-taking continues amid the uncertainty around the new relief package in the USA. Brent crude oil is 0.64% lower at $44.76, while the WTI futures are 0.05% lower at $42.14. 

European Markets Open Lower

European stocks started lower on Friday after the disappointment from the Chinese economic data and ahead of the second reading of GDP, which would confirm a contraction of 12.1%. Dax index is 0.32% lower at 12,952. The CAC 40 in Paris started 0.67% lower at 5,008 after France Consumer Price Index came in at 0.9% in July in line with forecasts. The FTSE in London is 0.54% lower at 6,130. 

In forex markets, EURUSD is under selling pressure but holds the 1.18 mark. A new spike in COVID-19 infections in Europe, and the UK requiring a quarantine for travellers returning from France increase investors worries. 

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