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Budget News

  • Australia Stocks fall on China downbeat data
  • October 18,2019  09:35
  • Headline indices of the Australian share market lost steam on Friday, 18 October 2019, on concern about global economic slowdown after the release of China's third-quarter growth data. Market losses were, however, capped on optimism from Britain's preliminary last-minute deal with the European Union. Around late afternoon, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index fell 38.48 points, or 0.6%, to 6,646.20, while the broader All Ordinaries shed 37.12 points, or 0.55%, to 6,754.40.

    China Gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 6% in third quarter ended September 2019, compared with 6.2% in the second quarter, official figures showed on Friday, as the country grapples with protracted trade war with the US and slowing domestic demand. The Chinese economy grew at 6.6% in 2018. However, the Industrial Production rose 5.8% year-on-year in September, after growth of 4.4% in August. Meanwhile, consumer spending, as represented by Retail Sales, rose 7.8% year-on-year in September.

    Britain and the European Union agreed to a severance deal, moving closer toward wrapping up three years of uncertainties after Britons voted to leave the bloc. The deal comes after years of divisive and frequently acrimonious discussions with the EU, including successive days of late-night talks this week.

    At a news conference with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the deal meant there would be no need for a further delay to Britain's departure and negotiations on the future relationship between Britain and the EU would begin as soon as the deal was approved by the UK and European parliaments.

    On the U.S.-China trade front, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow's commented that he sees momentum to finalize the initial phase of a U.S.-China trade deal outlined last week, adding it may be signed at the APEC forum next month. Upbeat statements from Beijing and Washington fueled hopes that a phased agreement could ease the long-running U.S.-China trade war that has rattled markets for months.

    Most of ASX sectors declined, with consumer Staples and Information Technology were the leading decliners. Afterpay Touch (APT) shares were down7%, WiseTech Global (WTC) remained in trading halt, after the group requested time to respond to allegations made in recently published research reports, ensuring that trading 'does not take place in an uninformed or false market.

    Seven West Media (SWM) shares were firmer by 0.6% after announcing the merger with regional media company, Prime Media Group (PRT). The deal is all-scrip transaction that will see PRT shareholders receive 0.4582 SWM shares for each Prime share. As a part of the agreement SWM will sell its WA based radio business, Redwave, to Southern Cross Media (SXL) for $28 million. PRT shares were up 2.8%

    CURRENCY NEWS: The Australian dollar hold gains against greenback on Friday, possibly due to the bigger-than-expected rebound in the China's Industrial Production ignoring dismal GDP data. The Australian dollar, sensitive to shifts in broader risk appetite, changed hands at $0.6832 following a low of $0.6819 seen earlier.

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