[B]China[/B][B]?s Stock Index Plummets The Most In A Month [/B]
[B]Retail Sales SkyRocket In China On Wage Climb[/B]
[B]Singapore[/B][B] Retail Sales Perform Poorly, Biggest Fall In 2 Years[/B]
[B]Regional Asian Benchmarks Drop From Records[/B]
China?s Stock Index Plummets The Most In A Month
Stocks in China declined the most in a month as investors sold shares in the market on the concern that valuations had approached extremes. Leading declines, not to the market?s surprise, were banking shares. Notably, stock in China Minsheng Banking and China Merchants Bank Co. led declines on the day. Minsheng, the nation?s first privately held lender, dropped 6.3 percent on the day to 13.53 as China Mercahnts Bank, the country?s seventh largest, slipped 6.1 percent to 20.80. However, attempting to mitigate the day?s losses were retail stock as the retail sales report showed optimistic results. Consumer stocks including Mongolia Yili Industrial Group led advancers on the day. Separately, shares of Bank of Communications Ltd. skyrocketed on its debut in Shanghai, advancing 71 percent since the open. For the record, the benchmark CSI 300 index plummeted 129.78 points or 3.5 percent in the overnight session.
Retail Sales Vault Higher On Noticeable Wage Climb
Retail sales in the world?s fastest growing economy skyrocketed on the day, well supported by increases in wages that have spurred consumer spending. For the month, sales rose 15.5 percent on the annualized comparison to 667.3 billion yuan after gaining 15.3 percent in the month of March, according to the country?s statistics bureau. The biggest increase since 2004, the report remains encouraging and supportive of the overall economy as consumers are drawing additional confidence from a booming stock market. However, with equity markets at extreme highs, some are beginning to question the current momentum, that may ultimately and adversely be affected by a “correction” as per Goldman analysts just a couple of days ago. Bullish for the underlying currency, the Chinese yuan remained under pressure during the London session as the currency continued to pullback slightly on fears that two way flows will jeopardize further advancement in the currency. Heading towards the New York close, the Chinese yuan was trading at 7.6845 against the US dollar, far back from the 7.6750 seen just days ago.
Singapore Retail Sales Take A Hit
For the month of March, Singapore retail sales took the bigges hit in more than two years, sparking the likelihood that policy officials will cut forecasted growth estimates for the economy. The headline index, released in the overnight session, dropped 6 percent in the year on year comparison. Although considered a modest pullback from the 18.1 percent acceleration seen last month, the dip was the second decline in three months and bucked a 3.6 percent estimate by the consensus, according to the Statistics Department. With Singpaore?s industrial production numbers to the downside, the market is beginning to price in the plausible scenario of a lower revision to overall growth as exports have now risen at the slowest pace in almost two years. Reductions are expected to be placed below the 7.2 percent rate seen in the first quarter. Subsequently, the report helped to push the USDSGD back higher to the 1.5200 figure, trading slightly lower in the New York session on profit taking.
Hang Seng and Straits Come Under Weakness
As a result of regional weakness, benchmark indexes in both Hong Kong and Singapore also dropped in the overnight. Notably Hong Kong stocks declined from a record as China Mobile shares slid on speculative relation with Shanghai stocks. As traders pulled back positioning company shares, China Mobile stock slipped 20 cents to HK$73.55. HSBC helped to exacerbate equity downside, falling 60 cents to close at HK$146.30. Ultimately, the Hang Seng finished lower by 111 points, closing at 20,868.15. The Straits Times index failed to perform any better as shares remained under pressure, pulling the benchmark index lower through record high hit yesterday. The Singapore stock market closed lower, down 26.02 points at 3,475.08.