Monday, September 25, 2023

Live News: Asian stocks fall after China data release suggests slower growth -Dlight News


Asian stocks fell following the release of weaker-than-expected China data


Asian stocks opened lower on Tuesday on weaker-than-expected Chinese economic data.

The Hang Seng index fell 1.77 percent after Hong Kong markets resumed trading after a day-long break due to typhoons. The CSI 300 benchmark of mainland equities fell 0.41 percent while South Korea’s Kospi shed 0.62 percent. Japan’s Topix index rose 0.38 percent.

Official Chinese data released on Monday added to worries about slowing growth in Asia’s biggest economy, with gross domestic product expanding just 0.8 percent in the April-June quarter, compared with 2.2 percent in the first quarter.

Chinese developer Evergrande has announced an $80bn loss through 2021

Evergrande's Royal Peak residential development under construction in Beijing
Evergrande’s Royal Peak residential development under construction in Beijing. The Chinese developer had Rmb2.4tn in total liabilities at the end of 2022 © Bloomberg

Chinese property developer Evergrande has unveiled for the first time the scale of the financial damage caused by a 2021 default that sparked a crisis in the country’s property sector.

The group, which is in the midst of a lengthy restructuring process, reported losses of Rmb476bn and Rmb106bn ($66.4bn and $14.8bn) for 2021 and 2022 respectively.

The reports are a rare glimpse into the scale of the company’s plight, which has been characterized by a lack of disclosure and opaque discussions with creditors.

The company had borrowed about $20bn from international creditors at the time of its default. Evergrande had Rmb2.4tn in total liabilities at the end of 2022.

Australian state cancels hosting of Commonwealth Games due to rising costs

The Australian state of Victoria has canceled plans to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games due to the rising costs of the event.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the budget had fallen to A$7bn ($4.8bn) from an initial forecast of A$2.6bn.

The surprise move will reignite concerns about the future of the Games, which have struggled to convince cities to shoulder its costs. The 2022 games featured teams from 54 countries and 18 territories, mostly former or current British colonies.

Victoria emerged as the sole bidder last year. The Games would have been held in several rural towns rather than the capital city of Melbourne.

What to see in Asia today

Supporters of Thailand's Move Forward Party and its prime ministerial candidate Pita Limjaroenrat gathered outside the Bangkok Art and Culture Center on Friday.
Supporters of Thailand’s Move Forward Party and its prime ministerial candidate Pita Limjaroenrat gather outside the Bangkok Art and Culture Center on Friday.

Thailand: Thailand’s legislature holds a second round of voting for the name of the prime minister. On 13 July, Move Forward Party leader Pita Limjaroenrat – the sole nominee – fell short of the required 375 votes in a joint session of both houses of parliament. Pitta’s coalition plans to nominate him again.

Events: Elsewhere, the G20 meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors concludes in Gandhinagar, India, while South Korean and US officials meet in Seoul to discuss nuclear deterrence against North Korea. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida concluded a tour of the Middle East that covered Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar completed a seven-day visit to Indonesia and Thailand.

Data: Hong Kong releases the June unemployment rate. The Reserve Bank of Australia releases the minutes of its July monetary policy meeting.

Companies: Adani Enterprises and Adani Gas hold their first annual meeting after US-based short seller Hindenburg Research released a report critical of Adani group companies. India’s Zee Entertainment Enterprises presents first-quarter earnings, while Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto offers a second-quarter performance review.

BlackRock inducted Saudi Aramco chief executive Amin Nasser to the board

BlackRock has named Saudi Aramco chief executive Amin Nasser, an independent director, as the $9.4tn money manager seeks to boost Middle East expertise on its board and counter US Republican claims that it is hostile to fossil fuels.

Nasser has led Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil producer, since 2015. His addition brings BlackRock’s board to 17 members with 15 independent directors.

Chief Executive Larry Fink said the board will benefit from Nassar’s “unique perspective” including his “understanding of the global energy industry and the drivers of the shift to a low-carbon economy, as well as his knowledge of the Middle East region.”

The US criticized Russia for abandoning the Black Sea grain export deal

A UN official inspects grain on the bulk cargo ship TQ Samsun anchored in the Black Sea
A UN official inspects grain on the Turkish-flagged bulk cargo ship TQ Samsun, anchored in Odessa, Ukraine, in the Black Sea on Monday © UN via AP

US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby criticized Russia’s withdrawal from the Black Sea grain deal, calling the move “an irresponsible and dangerous decision”.

Kirby told reporters on Monday that the move would “exacerbate food insecurity and harm millions of vulnerable people around the world”.

He added: “Russia will be fully and fully responsible for the consequences of this military act of aggression,” saying Washington urged the Kremlin to “immediately withdraw its decision”.

US stocks rose as investors braced for a busy week of corporate earnings

Wall Street stocks rose on Monday as investors weighed the outlook for the world’s two largest economies and braced for this week’s wave of US corporate results.

Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 closed up 0.4 percent, led by technology and financial stocks, while the tech-focused Nasdaq Composite gained 0.9 percent.

Helping to boost US equities at the opening bell was a manufacturing index compiled by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York that came in above expectations, signaling that businesses remain resilient to rising interest rates.

Read more about intraday market moves here.

Italy’s Giorgia Meloni criticized Russia for pulling out of the Ukraine grain deal

Giorgia Meloni of Italy
Italy’s Giorgia Meloni said Moscow’s termination of the agreement was ‘more proof of who is the friend and who is the enemy of poor countries’ © Remo Casilli/Reuters

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has criticized Russia’s decision to pull out of the Black Sea grain deal, saying “using the commodity that feeds the world as a weapon is another crime against humanity”.

Maloney said Monday that the termination of Moscow’s agreement — which enabled 33 million tons of Ukrainian wheat to be exported by sea, more than half of it to developing countries — was “more proof of who is the friend and who is the enemy of the poor countries.”

She added that Moscow’s actions should be mirrored by “the leaders of those nations who do not want to distinguish between the aggressor and the aggressor”.

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