SHANGHAI: Asian shares shuttled between small losses and gains on Friday as investors awaited China trade, lending and growth data, and as worries over Sino-US trade tensions deflated optimism rooted in expectations of a Federal Reserve rate cut this month.
But while an anticipated Fed cut did little to spur gains in Asian markets, European equities were expected to open higher.
Pan-region Euro Stoxx 50 futures were up 0.29 per cent at 3,500, German DAX futures were up 0.36 per cent at 12,367 and FTSE futures were up 0.34 per cent at 7,475. Financial spreadbetters expect Paris’ CAC to open 0.38 per cent higher.
Later on Friday, China will release June trade data, with analysts expecting exports to have fallen as weakening global demand and a sharp hike in US tariffs took a heavier toll on the world’s largest trading nation.
China is also due to release lending data on Friday, while second-quarter GDP figures are scheduled for Monday. The world’s second-largest economy is expected to have slowed to its weakest pace in at least 27 years, raising hopes for more stimulus to fend off a sharper slowdown.
“You’ve got key data coming out, and I don’t see why anyone would want to take a position until you’ve got that data,” said Michael Every, head of Asia-Pacific financial markets research at Rabobank in Hong Kong.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan , which moved in a narrow range through the day, was flat in the afternoon. Chinese shares rose, with the CSI300 adding 0.85 per cent.
Australian shares dipped 0.3 per cent and Japan’s Nikkei stock index started the day with small losses, but ended 0.2 per cent ahead.
Underscoring the economic impact of global trade tensions, Singapore’s economy grew at its slowest pace in a decade in the second quarter as electronics manufacturing output declined