China: Imports Miss, Exports Top Estimates while Surplus with U.S. Grew in June

China reported Friday that its June imports rose 14.1 percent in dollar-denominated terms, falling short of a 20.8 percent increase expected by analysts. China’s exports, meanwhile, slightly topped expectations by rising 11.3 percent in June. China also said on Friday that its trade surplus with the U.S. grew to $28.97 billion in June, according to data from China’s customs office.
James Hyerczyk
China
China

Asian share markets picked up where Wall Street left off on Thursday, extending gains on Friday’s opening. Traders said that lack of further escalation of the trade dispute between the United States and China is helping to underpin the markets.

At 0306 GMT, Japan’s Nikkei 225 is trading 22483.13, up 295.17 or +1.33% and South Korea’s Kospi is at 2304.59, up 19.53 or +0.85%. Not everything is coming up roses on the other side of the Pacific, however. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 is down 7.10 or -0.11% at 6261.20 and China’s Shanghai Index is at 2827.81, down 9.85 or -0.35%.

Most of the gains in the Nikkei and Kospi are being attributed to the surge in the U.S. technology sector as investors continued to react to the start of the second quarter earnings season.

U.S. Equity Markets

U.S. equity futures markets are trading higher early Friday. At 0314 GMT, September E-mini S&P 500 Index futures are trading 2804.25, up 5.75 or +0.20%. September E-mini Dow Jones Industrial Average futures are at 24958, up 65 or +0.26% and September E-mini NASDAQ-100 Index futures are up 20.75 or +0.28% at 7403.75.

The major cash indexes rebounded Thursday from the previous session’s losses, mostly carried by the technology sector, which drove the NASDAQ Composite to an all-time high.

The tech-driven NASDAQ rose 1.39 percent to 7823.58 on the back of Facebook and Amazon, which reached all-time highs. The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average close at 24924.89, up 224.44 or +0.91 percent and the benchmark S&P 500 Index settled at 2798.29, up 24.27 or +0.87 percent. Technology stocks, Cisco Systems and Intel helped drive the Dow higher, while the S&P Tech sector advanced 1.8 percent.

Traders set aside their concerns over the escalation of the trade dispute between the United States and China, shifting their focus toward earnings and economic data.

U.S. Economic News

Weekly jobless claims fell to 214,000 last week and the consumer price index rose at its fastest pace in six years. The U.S. Consumer Price Index rose 0.1% versus an estimate of 0.2% and the Core Consumer Price Index came in at 0.2% as expected. In the 12 months through June, the CPI increased 2.9 percent, the biggest gain since February 2012.

China Economic News

China reported Friday that its June imports rose 14.1 percent in dollar-denominated terms, falling short of a 20.8 percent increase expected by analysts. China’s exports, meanwhile, slightly topped expectations by rising 11.3 percent in June, according to data from the country’s General Administration of Customs showed on Friday. Overall, China ran a $41.61 billion trade surplus in June. Economists had forecast China’s overall trade balance to widen to only $27.61 billion in June from $24.92 billion in May.

China also said on Friday that its trade surplus with the U.S. grew to $28.97 billion in June, according to data from China’s customs office. In May, the surplus had been $24.58 billion. The new surplus is the highest on record, according to Reuters calculations. Overall, China said both its imports and exports with the U.S. rose in the first half of 2018.

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