The latest Chinese trade figures have shown that the trade war with America is hurting demand. US exports to China have plunged by over a quarter this year (when valued in yuan), suggesting that Donald Trump’s efforts to cut the US-China trade deficit are still failing.
Chinese imports overall fell again in March, highlighting that its domestic economy is weaker too. Exports rebounded, though.
Investors are hopeful that a pick-up in credit availability, and new loans, will help to stimulate growth.
European stock markets have pushed higher, on hopes that trade tensions could ease soon.
Michael Hewson of CMC Markets says:
Markets in Europe have built on last week’s strong gains after this morning’s Chinese trade data saw exports rise to a five month high.
While some of this jump may well be as a result of a rebound after Chinese New Year, it also suggests that despite concerns about an economic slowdown, that external demand in the global economy, while weaker than a year ago, still remains sufficient to sustain further economic expansion.
In the eurozone, a smaller-than-expected fall in industrial production has created some optimism that the European economy is emerging from a weak patch.
However, a drop in US consumer confidence is a reminder that the world economy is fragile.
In the markets, shares in Disney have surged as its new streaming service is applauded. JP Morgan is also rallying, after beating forecasts – perhaps a good sign for the new earnings season?
The pound has risen, as fears of a no-deal Brexit ease…. and as chancellor Philip Hammond predicts that business investmentmight recover after a weak year.