The world’s second largest economy is displaying signs of weakening, sparking a negative reaction on global markets.
Markets at 8:05am (AEDT):ASX SPI futures +0.1pc at 5,722, ASX 200 (Monday’s close) flat at 5,773AUD: 71.96 US cents, 55.95 British pence, 62.74 Euro cents, 77.86 Japanese yen, $NZ1.06US: Dow Jones -0.4pc at 23,909, S&P 500 -0.5pc at 2,583, Nasdaq -0.9pc at 6,906Europe: FTSE 100 -0.9pc at 6,855, DAX -0.3pc at 10,856, CAC -0.4pc at 4,763, Euro Stoxx 50 -0.6pc at 3,053Commodities: Brent crude -2.2pc at $US59.15/barrel, spot gold +0.3pc at $US1,291.46/ounce, iron ore +0.5pc at $US73.80/tonne
China reported that its exports dropped 4.4 per cent in December, its biggest monthly fall in two years — while its imports plunged 7.6 per cent, its steepest decline since July 2016.
Furthermore, in 2018 China posted its biggest trade surplus with the United States on record, which could prompt US President Donald Trump to turn up the heat on Beijing in their bitter trade dispute.
Softening demand in China is being felt around the world — with slowing sales of goods from smartphones to automobiles — prompting Apple to issue a rare profit warning in recent weeks.
Fears of slowing global economic growth led to a risk-averse mentality in equity markets overnight.
European markets finished in negative territory, with moderate losses for Frankfurt (-0.3pc), Paris (-0.4pc) and London (-0.9pc), with technology stocks being among the weakest performers.
Tech falls, while Citi surges
Wall Street closed in the red, with the Dow Jones index falling 87 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 23,909.
The benchmark S&P 500 slipped 0.5 per cent to 2,583, with nearly every sector posting losses, except financials.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq index lost 0.9 per cent to 6,906.
US markets were pulled down, in particular, by tech-related stocks