Stocks mixed after weak China data and ahead of US earnings
Global stocks were mixed today after China released its economic data for the second quarter. The data showed that the country’s economy expanded by 6.2% in the second quarter. This was in line with what investors were expecting but lower than the first quarter’s growth of 6.4%. It was the lowest growth rate since 1992 when official records started to be taken. Historically, many economists have questioned the integrity of the official statistics from China. While this slowdown is partly because of the ongoing trade war with the US, other factors like the weakness in the European, African, and Asian countries are also at play. As a result of the weakness, China will likely lower taxes and offer more stimulus to the Chinese economy. The country is also expected to pile on debt, which reached 247% of its GDP in March this year.
The Swiss franc gained against the USD, even as data from Switzerland disappointed. In June, the country producer price index (PPI) declined by an annualized rate of -1.4%. This was worse than the consensus estimate of -0.9% and lower than May’s -0.8%. On a MoM basis, the PPI declined by -0.5%, which was lower than the expected gain of 0.1%. The PPI is an important measure of inflation because it measures the average change in prices received by domestic producers for their output. A decline in PPI tends to lead to a decline in the CPI. The PPI has been in negative territory since February this year.
The USD was relatively unchanged after reports that Donald Trump was considering removing billionaire Wilbur Ross from the commerce department. The president is said to be disappointed with the secretary because of the recent defeat in the Supreme Court about adding a citizenship question to the census. The president has also been disappointed with Ross because of the failed trade negotiations. Before he became secretary, Ross was a widely respected investor who founded WL Ross & Co. Some of his biggest investments were the International Steel Group, which he sold for $4.5 billion. He also founded International Textiles Group that was later sold to Platinum Equity. Meanwhile, data from New York showed that the manufacturing index rose to 4.30 in July.
The EUR/USD pair was relatively unchanged after reports that the US president was considering ousting Wilbur Ross. The pair is now trading at 1.1275, which is along the 38.2% Fibonacci Retracement level. On the hourly chart, the pair appears to be forming a symmetrical triangle pattern. The pair is slightly above the 14-day and 28-day moving averages. At this point, the pair will likely break out in either direction. If it moves higher, it will likely test the 50% Fibonacci level of 1.1300 and if it moves lower, it will likely test the 23.6% Fibonacci Retracement level of 1.1240.
The USD/CHF declined today after disappointing PPI data from Switzerland. The pair is now trading at 0.9823, which is along the 23.6% Fibonacci Retracement level in the hourly chart. The price is along the lower line of the Bollinger Bands while the RSI has moved closer to the oversold level. The accumulation/distribution indicator has started to move lower too. The pair will likely continue moving lower to retest the previous low of 0.9700.
In the morning session, the Australian dollar soared after the release of Chinese economic data. The pair reached a high of 0.7037, which was the highest level since July 4 this year. On the hourly chart, the pair is along the 14-day moving averages and slightly above the 28-day moving average. The RSI has moved from a high of 72 to the current 60. The pair could move lower to retest the important 61.8% Fibonacci Retracement level of 0.7000.