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Stocks are tepid as investors await new China economic data


The first phase of the US-China trade deal is done. Now investors are awaiting more signals about economic growth.

South Korea’s Kospi added 0.3% on Thursday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index and Japan’s Nikkei 225 were flat. But China’s Shanghai Composite fell 0.3%.

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed an initial trade deal with senior Chinese officials at the White House that that included pledges from Beijing to more than double its purchases from American farmers in the first year.

The agreement was signed as China’s economy continues to grapple with a slowdown. The country is expected to disclose its full year growth figures for 2019 on Friday, which will give investors more clues about how the economy is doing.

In Hong Kong, Sa Sa International — the city’s largest cosmetics retailer — said Wednesday that it plans to shut down 20% to 25% of its stores in the next 18 months because of the city’s “unabated difficult operating environment.” Hong Kong has experienced months of pro-democracy protests.

Sa Sa International’s stock was higher on Thursday, but shares plummeted more than 40% last year. Revenue for the most recent quarter was down 27% compared to a year earlier.

Chow Tai Fook Jewellery, one of the world’s largest jewelery retailers, dropped 1.2% in Hong Kong on Thursday. The company said it plans to close up to 15 stores in Hong Kong by the end of March 2021 to improve profitability.

In New York on Wednesday, the Chinese carmaker Nio spiked more than 14% after reports that the company could receive a $1 billion investment from GAC Group, a state-owned car manufacturer in China.

GAC Group and Nio both later said no agreement has been reached right now. GAC Group also said that if a deal is reached, it would invest no more than $150 million.

Article Topic Follows: Biz/Tech

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