(menafn – ecpulse)
Last week was busy with major data from Asia and with eyes centered on China. The world’s second largest economy added to the jitters in the market after the first quarter expansion missed expectations adding further pressure that the economy might be in for a hard landing.
The start was with China and Japan, where Japan’s current account recorded a surplus in February of 1177.8 billion compared with a previous deficit of 437.3 billion while expectations were 1120.0 billion. Japan’s trade balance jumped into surplus in February by 102.1 billion yen, compared with a previous deficit of 1381.61, while analysts expected a surplus of 104.3 billion yen.
Also, Chinese economy released its Producer price index for March on yearly basis where the actual reading showed a drop to meet analysts’ expectations by 0.3% compared with the previous flat reading.
On the other hand, the Consumer Price index showed an unexpected reading in March on yearly basis where the actual number came at 3.6% rising from 3.2% while expectations were for 3.4%.
As for the BoJ, the central bank decided to keep its benchmark interest rate unchanged between 0.00% and 0.10% to meet analysts’ expectations.
The BOJ kept the credit program levels steady at 35 trillion Yen, and it did not change the asset purchase program worth 30 trillion Yen as the bank announced that the Japanese economy sees signs of recovery, so the bank is waiting for further signs.
Moving to the Australian economy, the Westpac consumer confidence for April improved to -1.6% compared with a previous reading of -5.0%, while Consumer Inflation Expectations for April unexpectedly rose to 3.3% from a previous of 2.7%.
Australia's unemployment rate in March unexpectedly remained steady at 5.2% opposed to the expected rise to 5.3%. On the other side, the employment changed in March rose to 44,000 people in workforce compared with previous of -15.4K while expectations were 6.5K.
Ending the week, the Chinese economy recorded slower growth during the first quarter and less than expected expansion supported by weakness of exports and domestic demand, which may push to more monetary policy easing in the coming period.
The Chinese expansion slowed to 1.8% from previous reading of 2.0% while expectations were expected 1.9% expansion on the quarter. On a yearly basis, the economy expanded by 8.1% from prior of 8.9%, while expectations were for 8.4%.