Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Asia today - poor Japanese data, more Chinese reform, longer-term labour shortages and...tofu McNuggets anyone?

Asia today has to start with some more poor Japanese data:

'Japan's industrial production fell 3.3 per cent in June compared to May. This compared to economists' estimates for a 1.2 per cent drop...On a year-over-year basis the figure was rosier, however, showing a 3.2 per cent rise, which again was lower than forecasts'

(source: Fast FT)

Clearly not the greatest...but no sign yet that the yen is going to crack...but I believe it should/will...

...and that drives my stock choices in the country including Toyota but also Sony.  I note, for the latter, that they are set to exit a 'best of Japan' index.  A bullish sign?! 

A few other stories that interest me include an observation that the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong is basically at a five year high.  An interesting technical point:

Australia too is at six year highs.  Hmm.  Currently I am balancing index shorts with stock specific longs.  The question is whether to unbalance this.  

Turning to China specifically I think good news on reform (although I note the inevitable political interpretation in the final paragraph): 

Here is also a good list of Chinese property investment portals

An interesting longer-term report ('Labour shortages could cost US$10 trillion if worker flows aren’t better managed'here on labour shortages in both Asia and the wider world which muses that:

'China, with a 55 million labour surplus today, will have a deficit of more than 24 million in 2030. Severe labour shortages will emerge in Australia, Russia, Japan, Korea and even Mexico'

Finally back to a current story and here is one way that McDonald's in Japan may be fighting back against Asian meat/related supplier challenges...tofu McNuggets! 

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