China December trade data shows exports rise 9% y/y

December trade balance from China, these in ‘yuan terms’ 

Exports for the month +9.0% compared with +2.9% expected

  • For the year exports +5% y/y

Imports beat huge, +17.7% y/y, vs expected at +8.6%

  • for the Jan to Dec year imports +1.6% y/y

As part of the data release, shows trade between the US and China is down 10.7% y/y in 2019. 

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Asian shares rise on China’s policy easing, trade deal hopes

© Reuters. Passersby are reflected on a stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo © Reuters. Passersby are reflected on a stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo

By Andrew Galbraith

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Asian shares kicked off the new decade higher on Thursday, after global stocks ended the previous one at record highs, and buoyed by Chinese markets after Beijing eased monetary policy to support slowing growth.

Investors also cheered news that the United States and China will sign a trade pact soon after a year of volatile negotiations between the world’s two largest economies.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan () was up 0.35% in morning trade after rising 5.6% in December.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that Phase 1 of trade deal with China would be signed on Jan. 15 at the White House, though uncertainty surrounds details about the agreement.

Rising hopes for a resolution to the U.S.-China trade war helped propel global equities to record highs late last year and depress the value of the U.S. dollar.

MSCI’s all-country world index () of stock performance in 49 nations touched an all-time high of 567.80 on Dec. 27. It was last quoted at 565.46, off 0.41% from that peak.

In China, the blue-chip CSI300 index (), one of the world’s best-performing indexes last year, was 1.34% higher in early trade.

China’s central bank on Wednesday that it would cut the amount of cash that banks must hold as reserves, releasing around 800 billion yuan in funds effective Jan. 6.

“I think the monetary angle in terms of what it means for the companies, is not that important,” said Jim McCafferty, head of Asia ex-Japan equity research at Nomura in Hong Kong.

“However for what it means for the consumer point of view, then clearly if there’s easy money and … individuals can borrow cheaply, repay debt quickly, then that of course is going to help the economy and the companies.”

McCafferty said he expects a memory up-cycle and new handset development prompted by the rollout of 5G mobile technology could help to lift tech-heavy markets like Korea and Taiwan this year.

Australian shares () flicked between small gains and losses, and were last up 0.2%. Seoul’s Kospi () began the year down 0.85%, while shares in Taiwan () added 0.51%.

Markets in Japan are closed for a national holiday.

The gains in Asia follow a bullish end to the year on Wall Street on Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average () rose 0.27% to 28,538.44 and the S&P 500 () gained 0.29% to 3,230.78. The Nasdaq Composite () added 0.3% to 8,972.60.

In currency markets on Thursday, the dollar continued to weaken slightly against major peers as investors bet on a better outlook for global growth and trade.

The dollar was 0.06% weaker against the yen at 108.64 while the euro () gained 0.11% to 1.1222.

The (), which tracks the greenback against a basket of six rivals, was little changed, rising 0.04% to 96.427.

U.S. crude () was up 0.36% to $ 61.28 and global benchmark Brent crude () rose to $ 66.24 per barrel, building on a rise that gave oil its biggest annual gain in three years in 2019.

Gold, which has benefited from a weaker greenback, was up 0.18% on the spot market, fetching $ 1,519.64 per ounce. [GOL/]

Graphic: Asian stock markets https://product.datastream.com/dscharting/gateway.aspx?guid=516bc8cb-b44e-4346-bce3-06590d8e396b&action=REFRESH

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Chinese imports rise for the first time since April

China trade data was released on the weekend

China imports
  • Imports +0.3% y/y vs -1.4% expected (prior -6.2%)
  • Exports -1.1% y/y vs +0.8% expected (prior -0.8%)
  • Trade balance +$ 38.73B vs +$ 44.50B expected

Exports were down for the fourth consecutive month in year-over-year terms but imports rose for the first time since April.

I believe Chinese imports are one of the world’s best leading indicators because they’re often tied to raw materials that are finished and then exported abroad. Purchasing managers only ramp up imports when they see demand globally.

This is a tiny rise in imports, so it’s way too early to draw any conclusions but but the Caixin and official China PMIs both beat expectations in the latest month.

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Italy expects budget deficit to rise next year, debt to fall: source

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte meet in Rome © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte meet in Rome

By Gavin Jones

ROME (Reuters) – Italy will target its budget deficit at around 2.2% of gross domestic product next year, falling to 1.8% in 2021 and 1.4% in 2022, a political source said on Saturday.

Economic growth is seen around 0.6% next year, and rising to 1.0% in each of the following two years, according to a draft of the targets seen by the source.

The Cabinet is due to sign off on the new targets contained in the Treasury’s Economic and Financial Document (DEF) at a meeting on Monday.

The targets are still subject to possible marginal revisions ahead of Monday’s meeting, the source said. In particular the 2020 deficit goal could be lowered to 2.1% depending on ongoing negotiations with the European Commission.

This year’s deficit is seen at around 2.0% of GDP, Deputy Economy Minister Antonio Misiani said this week.

The new government of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and the center-left Democratic Party intends to avoid an increase in sales tax worth some 23 billion euros ($ 25 billion)scheduled for January, which was promised to the European Union as a backstop to ensure Rome respected the bloc’s fiscal rules.

However Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, in comments on Friday, did not rule out possible adjustments to value added tax (VAT) rates.

Under an unchanged policy scenario, which includes the full VAT tax hike, next year’s deficit would fall to around 1.5% of GDP, two sources told Reuters earlier this week.

Italy has proportionally the second highest public debt in the EU after that of bailed-out Greece, and has made little progress in reducing its deficit toward a balanced budget in recent years as EU rules prescribe.

The debt is forecast to rise this year from last year’s 134.8% of GDP, the political source said, before declining in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

Italy has urged the EU to ease what it calls the “excessive rigidity” of EU fiscal rules to head off the risk of recession in the 19-nation euro currency bloc.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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Dark net drug sales on the rise in England

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The number of people in England buying drugs on the dark net has more than doubled since 2014, the Global Drugs Survey has found.

The annual survey questioned 123,814 people from more than 30 countries

Its data showed that, the number of drug users in England buying products on the dark net has risen from 12.4% to nearly 28.6% since 2014.

England also had the third highest number of illegal drugs delivered to order – behind Scotland and Brazil.

There were no specific figures about Wales or Northern Ireland in the study.

The study’s founder, Dr Adam Winstock, says people do not understand the risks involved in buying drugs online.

“If you’ve given your name, somebody knows you’ve bought illicit drugs,” he said.

“And then there’s a possibility that they will blackmail you.”

The dark net is a network of untraceable online activity and hidden websites.

In addition to the illegality, an investigation by the BBC podcast The Next Episode found hundreds of people claiming to have been scammed or blackmailed by vendors while trying to obtain drugs on the dark net.

Leon is one of them.

“I got a very angry and threatening message saying, ‘I’ve got your address’ and threatening to either release it, show up there, or send something nasty. This was someone who was a crack and heroin seller.

“Obviously I don’t have any consumer protections legally.”

In recent months the National Crime Agency, the organisation tasked with policing the dark net in the UK, has helped shut down several large dark net marketplaces.

But there has been criticism that this approach actually leads to more people being blackmailed.

Caleb Daniels is a crypto-market expert and he said: “What we are seeing is a perfect storm.

“More users are going online whilst untested sites are popping up.

“This leaves users vulnerable to blackmail.”

A National Crime Agency spokesperson said: “Tackling the cyber-crime threat is a priority.

“We have had lots of operational successes and have led a number of investigations into criminal activity on the dark web, which have resulted in individuals being convicted and facing lengthy prison sentences.

“We would encourage anyone who is a victim of crime to report it to the authorities.”

But Chris Monteiro, a dark net expert, argues the police are not doing enough.

“Drug dealing on the dark net is not a priority for the police,” he said.

“The police are limited in what they can do and ill-equipped to deal with issues on the dark net.”

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Stocks – Fiat Surges, AMD, Alibaba Rise Premarket; GE Falls

Investing.com – Stocks in focus in premarket trading on Tuesday:

• Fiat Chrysler (NYSE:) stock surged 8.2% by 8:15 AM ET (12:15 GMT) after it proposed merging with France’s Renault (PA:), a move the French company will decide on as early as next week. The merger would make it the third-largest auto group by sales, behind Toyota and Volkswagen (DE:).

Alibaba (NYSE:) stock was up 1.1% after reports that the company is considering raising as much as $ 20 billion through a public listing in Hong Kong.

• Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:) was up 2.5% after a well-received launch for its new Ryzen chip

• Meredith Corporation (NYSE:) stock was unmoved after the media company sold Sports Illustrated for $ 110 million to Authentic Brands. Meredith will still publish, manage and be responsible for advertising, video and social media, while Authentic Brands plans to seek licensing deals for the Sports Illustrated name.

• Total System Services (NYSE:) stock gained 2.5% after it agreed to merge with Global Payments (NYSE:) in a $ 21.5 billion stock deal. The combined deal will make it a leader in integrated payments.

General Electric (NYSE:) stock dipped 0.3% on news that it is cutting 1,000 jobs in France, which could put it at odds with the French government. The French government has consistently asked GE not to cut jobs in the country.

• Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:) stock was up 1.8% after J.P. Morgan Securities initiated coverage with an overweight rating and price target per share of $ 97, CNBC reported.

• Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:) stock rose 3.2% after Goldman Sachs (NYSE:) upgraded the company to buy from neutral, noting the impact of new and upcoming content.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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Aussie set for biggest rise in 2019 after shock election win

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Illustration photo of Australian dollars © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Illustration photo of Australian dollars

By Saikat Chatterjee

LONDON (Reuters) – The Australian dollar surged on Monday and is on track for its biggest rise this year as investors cheered a shock election win by Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s conservative coalition, though mixed global stocks broadly weighed on risk appetite.

The was last up 0.9% at $ 0.6926, having bounced from a four-month trough of $ 0.6865. It was briefly quoted as high as $ 0.6990 but dealers said that was a miss-hit and the actual transacted peak was $ 0.6938.

“The surprise victory is fuelling the rally as many expected the Labour party to win but an Australian rate cut is still very much on the cards in the coming months and that will weigh on the currency,” said Esther Maria Reichelt, an FX strategist at Commerzbank (DE:) in Frankfurt.

The center-left Labor party had been tipped to win the federal election, beating Morrison’s center-right Liberal National Coalition, which investors see as more business-friendly.

Tepid economic data, including a rising jobless rate has stoked expectations the Australian central bank will cut interest rates as soon as July.

Elsewhere, the dollar held surprisingly firm on Monday, extending its gains from last week as concerns about a festering trade war between the United States and China burnished the safe-haven appeal of the greenback.

Positioning data offered a glimpse that the dollar strength may be tenuous, however, as investors have quietly trimmed some of their long positions in the U.S. currency against both its developed and emerging market rivals.

Against a basket of its rivals, the dollar steadied at a two-week high above 98.

The pound recouped some losses after posting its biggest weekly drop in six months last week, edging 0.2% higher at $ 1.2736 and 0.1% stronger against the euro at 87.62 pence.

Prime Minister Theresa May said on Sunday she would make a “new bold offer” to British lawmakers in an attempt to get her thrice-defeated Brexit deal through parliament before she leaves office.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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Rise of the renminbi could be the story of the next cycle

As China rises, so will the Chinese currency

It will take years but the world is looking to de-dollarize and that will give rise to the Chinese renminbi.

Investec Asset management argues that countries irked by US geopolitics and power, including the EU and China will want to cut their exposure to the dollar. Beijing would also prefer to borrow in its own currency.

“Every central bank I met last year asked how do I get out of dollars,” said Hayden Briscoe, head of Asia-Pacific fixed income at UBS Asset Management. “More renminbi is now traded in London than sterling.”

As China rises, so will the Chinese currency

The rise of the Renminbi can only come if China liberalizes yuan flows. It was working in that direction and yuan-denominated trade was 2.8% of crossborder payments in 2015 but that was halved in the aftermath of run on the currency in August of that year. It’s only bounced back to 2.1% as capital controls continue.

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Forex – U.S. Dollar Falls After Jobless Claims Rise

© Reuters.  © Reuters.

Investing.com – The greenback slipped on Thursday after the number of people who filed for unemployment rose more than expected last week.

The , which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was down 0.07% t0 97.790 as of 10:53 AM ET (14:53 GMT).

Data showed that the number of had its biggest increase in 19 months last week, even as the trend remains consistent with a strong labor market.

Other data showed that for U.S.-made capital goods increased to an eight-month high in March, but shipments dropped as business spending slowed.

The dollar was down against the safe-haven yen, with slipping 0.1% to 111.72 after the Bank of Japan said it would most likely not increase interest rates for at least another year.

Elsewhere, the euro barely recovered from earlier lows after disappointing business surveys from Germany and France. slipped 0.2% to 1.1146, a level not seen since May 2017. was up slightly at 1.2908, while was at 1.3486.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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Israeli stocks rise despite attorney-general plan to indict Netanyahu

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO:  Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement to the media in his residency in Jerusalem © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement to the media in his residency in Jerusalem

TEL AVIV (Reuters) – Israeli shares opened higher on Sunday morning, shrugging off news that the country’s attorney-general intends to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on corruption charges.

The blue chip Tel Aviv 35 and the broader TA-125 indices were both up 0.5 percent at 0800 GMT. The stock market had been closed since the announcement was made late on Thursday.

U.S. markets closed higher on Friday.

Israeli government bond prices were down as much as 0.4 percent.

The shekel weakened 0.2 percent to 3.6297 per dollar on Friday. The currency market is closed on Sunday.

An actual filing of the charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust would depend on the outcome of a required hearing. At that hearing – likely after an April 9 election – Netanyahu can try to persuade the attorney-general not to indict him.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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