Thursday, 23 April 2015

Asian macro today

Some interesting macro today out of Asia.  Of course we have to start with the manufacturing PMI data which in China was the lowest for a year as shown by this chart from Zero Hedge:


Important to look at the detail however and new export orders (just!) are still pushing forward whilst more domestically centred data is contracting.  Should we be surprised then about the recent monetary policy loosening?  In short...no:

 However the equivalent data in Japan saw 'operating conditions worsen at Japanese manufacturers'


So the local indices are struggling given the above?  Far from it...and I note via Fast FT that this index value boom has overspilled elsewhere for example Taiwan which is approaching its own historic multi-year high.  Bubbles end badly...I stay with a stock picking focus in the Asian markets. 


Otherwise the firming iron ore price is catching a bit of attention although I would note that this move needs to be put into a medium-term context: 


Nevertheless this is better news for the Australian iron ore miners who continue (as shown below) to build market share.  I still prefer Billiton due to the proximity of the non-core operations spin-off (in about one month's time): 
Gold has slipped back below US$1200/ounce but as this report shows China is still likely to be accumulating the shiny metal far faster than declared in the official numbers:


And finally, North Korea has what alleged range on their missiles? 


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