China's Economic Slowdown Weighs on Global Markets: Stocks and Bonds Show Drift

China's economic slowdown impacts global markets. Stocks and bonds show drift as investors watch for earnings reports. Stay informed on market movements.

Jul 17, 2023 - 10:09
Jul 17, 2023 - 10:10
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China's Economic Slowdown Weighs on Global Markets: Stocks and Bonds Show Drift
China's Economic Slowdown Weighs on Global Markets: Stocks and Bonds Show Drift

In the wake of growing evidence indicating a slowdown in China's economy, US stocks and bonds experienced a lackluster performance. During the second quarter, China's gross domestic product (GDP) registered a slower-than-expected growth rate of 6.3%, adding to concerns about the global economy's reliance on Chinese spending.

On Monday, the S&P 500 remained relatively unchanged, starting the week on a subdued note after witnessing historic gains in the stock market the previous week. The performance of oil and gold mirrored the market's drift, while the US dollar demonstrated strength against major currency peers.

As investors continue to monitor the situation, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen acknowledged the interconnectedness of economies, particularly Asia's dependency on robust Chinese growth to fuel their own economic expansion. The deceleration in China's growth poses potential negative spillovers for the United States and other countries, making it a critical area of concern.

However, Yellen remains optimistic about the US economy, asserting that despite the slowdown, the labor market continues to exhibit strength, and she doesn't foresee an impending recession.

Earlier, analysts held the belief that Chinese consumers, emerging from the impact of COVID-19 lockdowns, would act as a driving force for the global economy, compensating for rising US and European interest rates. Nevertheless, this narrative is now facing mounting uncertainties.

Yellen's remarks align with the recent trend in Treasury yields and stock market movements. As data revealed a slowdown in the rate of inflation, speculation surrounding the Federal Reserve's potential conclusion of its interest rate hike cycle led to a decline in Treasury yields and a surge in stock prices.

Joe Little, chief strategist at HSBC Asset Management, emphasized the hope that the US has reached a turning point in the inflation cycle, supporting expectations for a 'disinflationary soft landing.' Consequently, bonds rallied after the previous week's hawkish statements from the Federal Reserve, and stock prices reached 12-month highs. However, questions linger in investment markets about the sustainability of this 'Goldilocks' scenario - data that is neither too hot nor too cold.

Moving forward, the next focal point for investors will be earnings reports, with numerous companies scheduled to release their financial results in the coming weeks. Projections indicate that S&P 500 firms might experience a 9% drop in profits during the second quarter, marking the worst season since 2020. Similarly, in Europe, the situation could be more dire, with an anticipated 12% slump in profits.

Key events scheduled for the week include a meeting of G-20 finance ministers and central bankers in India, as well as European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde's speech. Additionally, crucial economic indicators such as US retail sales, industrial production, business inventories, cross-border investment, and Eurozone and UK CPI will also influence market sentiment.

Market Movements:

Stocks:

  • S&P 500: Little change as of 9:35 a.m. New York time

  • Nasdaq 100: Rose 0.4%

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average: Fell 0.1%

  • Stoxx Europe 600: Declined 0.7%

  • MSCI World index: Little change

Currencies:

  • Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index: Rose 0.2%

  • Euro: Fell 0.1% to $1.1212

  • British pound: Fell 0.3% to $1.3060

  • Japanese yen: Fell 0.4% to 139.34 per dollar

Cryptocurrencies:

  • Bitcoin: Fell 0.2% to $30,216.25

  • Ether: Fell 0.9% to $1,911.62

Bonds:

  • 10-year Treasuries: Little change at 3.83%

  • Germany's 10-year yield: Declined two basis points to 2.49%

  • Britain's 10-year yield: Little change at 4.45%

Commodities:

  • West Texas Intermediate crude: Fell 0.9% to $74.76 a barrel

  • Gold futures: Fell 0.7% to $1,950.70 an ounce

In conclusion, investors are cautiously monitoring China's economic slowdown as it poses risks to the global economy, and its potential impact on various markets remains a key consideration. The US economy, while showing resilience, faces the challenges of navigating inflation and the labor market's dynamics. As earnings reports emerge, market participants brace for possible fluctuations, and global economic indicators will shape market sentiment in the weeks ahead.

Also Read: Stock Market Forecast 2023: Goldman Sachs Analysts Predict "Fat and Flat" Trend

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