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Chinese Stocks Tumble After Disastrous Industrial Production Data

Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:01 PM
Sam Bourgi
Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:01 PM

Stocks in mainland China and Hong Kong tumbled on Monday after Beijing reported a sharper than expected slowdown in industrial production, signs that the ongoing trade war with Washington was ravaging domestic producers.

Chinese Stocks Decline

Mainland China’s Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index declined by as much as 0.5% at the start of the new trading week. The mainland benchmark was last down 0.1% at 3,967.72.

China CSI 300 Index
China’s CSI 300 index opened lower on Monday. | Chart: Yahoo Finance

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 1.1% to 27,048.58.

The S&P/ASX 200, Australia’s major stock index, pared losses to trade at 6,666.40 after being down as much as 0.3%.

In Japan, the Tokyo Stock Exchange was closed Monday for a national holiday.

Chinese Industrial Production Resumes Slide

Industrial production, one of the broadest measures of factory output, rose far less than expected in China last month, extending a multi-year slowdown in the nation’s manufacturing sector.

August output rose just 4.4% compared with a year ago, the National Bureau of Statistics reported Monday. That was far less than the 5.2% increase expected and the slowest growth rate in over 17 years.

chinese industrial production
The U.S.-led trade war has has contributed to the gradual unwinding of Chinese industrial production. | Chart: tradingeconomics.com

Chinese factory output has been gradually unwinding in the wake of a U.S.-led trade war against the country. Although Chinese manufacturing was cooling long before the trade war began, Donald Trump’s presidency has hastened that trend.

The United States and China are set to resume face-to-face trade talks next month. Reports last week suggested President Trump was open to a partial trade deal that would delay tariffs.

Separate data from Beijing’s statistics department showed retail sales climbed 7.5% annually in August, down from 7.6% in July and missing expectations for 7.9%.

U.S. Stock Futures Point to Volatility Open

U.S. equity futures were down sharply in Asian trading, pointing to a volatile start to the New York session. Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) futures plunged 151 points, or 0.6%, to 27,063.00.

The S&P 500 futures contact fell 0.6% to 2,989.25. Nasdaq futures plunged 1.1% to 7,823.75.