Live News: Asian Stocks Fall After Chinese Data Releases Showing Slowing Growth

Asian stocks plunge after weaker than expected Chinese data release

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

The Hang Seng index fell 1.77% as Hong Kong markets recovered from a storm-triggered one-day hiatus. The benchmark CSI 300 index of mainland stocks fell 0.41% while South Korea’s Kospi slipped 0.62%. Japan’s Topix index climbed 0.38%.

Official Chinese data released on Monday added to concerns about decelerating growth in Asia’s largest economy, with gross domestic product rising just 0.8% quarter-on-quarter from April to June, down from 2, 2% in the first quarter.

Chinese developer Evergrande reveals $80 billion in losses since 2021

Evergrande's Royal Peak residential development under construction in Beijing

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

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

The group, which is in the midst of a lengthy restructuring process, posted losses of Rmb 476 billion and Rmb 106 billion ($66.4 billion and $14.8 billion) for 2021 and 2022, respectively. .

The reports are a rare glimpse into the depth of the company’s predicament, characterized by a lack of disclosure and opaque discussions with creditors.

At the time of its default, the company had borrowed about $20 billion from international creditors. At the end of 2022, Evergrande had a total liability of 2.4 tn Rmb.

Australian state cancels Commonwealth Games hosting due to soaring costs

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

Daniel Andrews, Premier of Victoria, said the budget had exploded to A$7 billion ($4.8 billion) against an initial forecast of A$2.6 billion.

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

Victoria emerged last year as the sole bidder. The games would have taken place in several rural towns rather than Melbourne, the capital.

What to watch in Asia today

On Friday, supporters of Thailand's Move Forward party and its candidate for prime minister Pita Limjaroenrat gather outside the Bangkok Art and Culture Center

Supporters of Thailand’s Move Forward party and its candidate for prime minister Pita Limjaroenrat gather outside the Bangkok Art and Culture Center on Friday © Narong Sangnak/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Thailand: Thailand’s legislature is holding a second round of voting to appoint a prime minister. On July 13, Move Forward party leader Pita Limjaroenrat – the only candidate – failed to secure the necessary 375 votes in a joint session of the two chambers of parliament. Pita’s coalition plans to appoint him again.

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

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

Companies: Adani Enterprises and Adani Gas are holding their first annual meetings since US short seller Hindenburg Research produced a report critical of Adani group companies. India’s Zee Entertainment Enterprises presents its first quarter results, while British-Australian miner Rio Tinto offers a review of second quarter operations.

BlackRock adds Saudi Aramco chief executive Amin Nasser to board

BlackRock has named Saudi Aramco chief executive Amin Nasser an independent director as the $9.4 billion fund manager seeks to bolster Middle East expertise on its board and tackle US Republican claims that he is hostile to fossil fuels.

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

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

US slams Russia for scrapping Black Sea grain export deal

A UN official inspects grain aboard the bulk cargo ship TQ Samsun anchored in the Black Sea

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

The United States has criticized Russia’s exit from the Black Sea Grains Agreement, with US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby calling the move an “irresponsible and dangerous move”.

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

He added: “Russia will bear full and sole responsibility for the consequences of this act of military aggression,” saying Washington urged the Kremlin to “reverse its decision immediately.”

US stocks rise as investors brace for busy week of corporate earnings

Wall Street stocks rallied on Monday as investors assessed the outlook for the world’s two largest economies and braced for this week’s flurry of U.S. corporate earnings.

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

A manufacturing index compiled by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York came in well above expectations, a sign that companies are resisting higher interest rates.

Learn about today’s market movements here.

Italy’s Giorgia Meloni slams Russia for pulling out of grain deal with Ukraine

Italian Giorgia Meloni

Italian Giorgia Meloni said Moscow’s termination of the deal “is further proof of who is the friend and who is the enemy of the poorest countries” © Remo Casilli/Reuters

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni criticized Russia’s decision to withdraw from the Black Sea grain deal, saying “using the basic products that feed the world as a weapon is another offense against humanity”.

Meloni said on Monday that Moscow’s termination of the deal – which had allowed 33 million tonnes of Ukrainian wheat to be exported by sea, more than half to developing countries – “is further proof of who is the friend and who is the enemy of the poorest countries”.

She added that Moscow’s actions should provoke thought “from the leaders of nations who do not want to distinguish between the attacked and the aggressor”.

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