Japan's imports from China plummet as virus shut factories | Calamatta Cuschieri

Market summary

The Maltese market closed in red on Tuesday, with the MSE total index ending the session 2.674% lower to 8241.083 points. There was no positive performance on the equity market. The biggest fall of 15.12% was seen from Tigne Mall plc with closing price of 0.73, followed by Malta Properties Company plc and Trident Estates plc, with 12.50% and 12.26% drop to close at 0.525 and 1.36 respectively. Malita Investments plc fell 9.09 % to close at 0.80, while HSBC Bank Malta plc closed at 0.96 resulting 6.80% change.

European stocks across the Continent only managed a slight gain in a roller-coaster session that saw an initial sharp bounce to losses in the middle of the session. By the end of trading, the benchmark Stoxx 600 added 2.26% to 291.07, alongside a 2.25% rise for the German Dax to 8,939.10, while the Cac-40 added 2.84% to 3,991.78.

Wall Street stocks recorded some solid gains on Tuesday as the US looked to recover from the carnage seen in the previous session. At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 5.20% at 21,237.38, while the S&P was 6.00% firmer at 2,529.19 and the Nasdaq Composite saw out the session 6.23% stronger at 7,334.78.

Japan’s imports from China fell at their fastest pace in three decades in February, as the coronavirus ground factory production in Asia’s largest economy to a halt and damaged wider demand across the region.

Japan’s exports slipped 1.0% from a year earlier, the 15th straight month of decline and the longest run since a 23-month stretch to July 1987.

While the extreme plunge in imports in February is likely to recover as Chinese factories slowly restart, analysts fear the global spread of the virus since then will pose an even greater challenge to Japan’s trade-reliant economy as shutdowns worldwide close businesses and national borders.

The 1.0% decline in total exports was due to weaker U.S.-bound shipments of cars and metal processing machinery to China.

The fall followed a 2.6% decrease in January and was smaller than a 4.3% decline expected by economists, with some segments such as non-ferrous metals and semiconductors posting stronger shipments.

The sharp fall in imports meant Japan’s trade surplus widened to 1.110 trillion yen ($10.34 billion), its largest since September 2007 and bigger than the median estimate for a 917.2 billion yen surplus.

The data is among the first real signs the world’s third-largest economy is struggling with the wider impact of the coronavirus.


This article was issued by Nadiia Grech, Junior Trader at Calamatta Cuschieri. For more information visit, www.cc.com.mt. The information, view and opinions provided in this article are being provided solely for educational and informational purposes and should not be construed as investment advice, advice concerning particular investments or investment decisions, or tax or legal advice. Calamatta Cuschieri Investment Services Ltd has not verified and consequently neither warrants the accuracy nor the veracity of any information, views or opinions appearing on this website.