Sunday, June 23, 2024

Chinese retail sales slow as Xi fights to revive economy – latest updates

Must read

Thanks for joining me. We begin the day with figures showing retail sales unexpectedly slowed in China as and the property sector remained a drag on the economy and consumer spending.

Retail sales rose just 2.3pc, the slowest increase since December 2022 and down from the 3.1pc increase in March.

It was far short of forecasts of a rise of 3.8pc.

5 things to start your day 

1) Rivals line up to take £1.6bn Navy contract from Titanic shipyard | Contingency plan for ship delivery comes amid fears Harland & Wolff could collapse

2) Nuclear waste to be buried 650ft under the English countryside | Underground storage fuels fears that radioactive waste could resurface

3) How Eurostar’s new trains will reignite a bitter Franco-German rivalry | French and German rivals face a competitive rerun for lucrative £2bn order

4) Boeing supplier cuts 450 jobs after losses fuelled by 737 blowout | Spirit AeroSystems faces scrutiny from regulators alongside Boeing following the January incident

5) Ben Marlow: The era of globalisation is about to come screeching to a halt | The engine of prosperity that has propelled growth since the Cold War is on its way out

What happened overnight 

Asian stocks slipped after Federal Reserve officials suggested that interest rates may need to stay higher for longer even as inflation shows early signs of easing.

Data on Wednesday showed a slowdown in US consumer price inflation, which prompted markets to swiftly price in at least two rate cuts this year.

However, the excitement soon fizzled out as the latest report showed the labour market remains tight, while central bankers were still cautious about inflation.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.4pc after touching a two-year high on Thursday. The index was still set for an increase of 2pc this week for its fourth straight week of gains.

Japan’s Nikkei eased 0.3pc. China stocks fell, with the blue chip gauge down 0.2pc. 

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was the bright spot for Asia, touching its highest since August 2022. It was last up 0.3pc.

In New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average of 30 leading US companies crossed the 40,000 level on Thursday for the first time. 

It rose as high as 40,051.05 while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq also hit record highs in trading yesterday before slowly losing steam and finishing the day slightly lower.

Overall, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.1pc, to 39,869.38, the S&P 500 lost 0.2pc, reaching 5,297.12, and the Nasdaq Composite index fell 0.3pc, to 16,698.32.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury climbed to 4.38pc from 4.35pc late on Wednesday.

Latest article