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Asian Stocks Mixed, Chinese Stocks Up Over Better-Than-Expected Economic Expansion

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·3 min read
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By Gina Lee

Investing.com – Asia Pacific stocks were mixed on Monday morning, after U.S. shares saw losses during the previous session over a lack of investor risk appetite and China released crucial data on its economic recovery process.

China’s Shanghai Composite was up 0.32% by 9:44 PM ET (2:44 AM GMT) and the Shenzhen Component rose 0.71%. Data released earlier in the day showed that industrial production grew 7.3% year-on-year in December, above the 6.9% in forecasts prepared by Investing.com and the 7% growth seen in November.

The data also showed that GDP rose 6.5% year-on-year in the fourth quarter, above the forecast 6.1% growth and the 4.9% growth in the third quarter. The GDP grew 2.6% quarter-on-quarter, this time below the forecast 3.2% and the 2.7% growth seen during the previous quarter.

Meanwhile, U.S.-China tensions are set to rise after the U.S. government reportedly notified several Huawei Technologies Co. suppliers, including Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), that their licenses to work with the Chinese company have been revoked. Other license applications have also reportedly been rejected.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was up 0.30%. A panel is expected to meet later in the day to approve COMIRNATY, the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) and BioNTech SE (F:22UAy).

Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.87% and South Korea’s KOSPI slid 0.95%. In Australia, the ASX 200 was down 0.81%.

Meanwhile, the U.S. also released some disappointing data on Friday, which saw futures in New York tumble up to 2.3% on the same day. Core retail sales contracted 1.4% month-on-month in December, larger from the 0.1% contraction in forecasts prepared by Investing.com and the 1.3% contraction recorded in November. The Producer Price Index (PPI) grew 0.3% month-on-month in December, while retail sales contracted 0.7% month-on-month in December.

“The data bring into question the durability of the recent move higher in bond yields and the rise in inflation compensation,” ANZ analysts said in a note.

“There’s a lot of good news around vaccines and stimulus priced into equities, but optimism is being challenged by the reality of the tough few months ahead,” they warned. “The risk across Europe is that lockdowns will be extended, and U.S. cases could lift sharply as the UK COVID-19 variant spreads,” the note added.

The nuber of global COVID-19 cases is close to topping the 95 million mark as of Jan. 18, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Global shares slid during the previous week after optimism about the $1.9 trillion worth of stimulus measures announced by U.S. President-Elect Joe Biden during the previous week, waned. Biden and his administration will be sworn in on Wednesday.

“Markets needed a breather or even a pull back to justify reflationary expectations,” Medley Global Advisors managing director of global macro strategy Ben Emons told Bloomberg.

Meanwhile, the Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank will hand down their policy decisions Thursday.

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