Chinese stocks see biggest fall of 2019 over trade, Eurozone concerns


Stocks in emerging markets dropped the most in nearly three months, and their currencies weakened.

Investors have pushed back expectations for a rise in euro zone interest rates to late-2020 from mid-2020 following the European Central Bank's decision to delay the timing of its first post-crisis rate hike.

"The trade data from China is a big part of it", said Fiera Capital's co-chief Investment Officer Julian Mayo. "So you put those two together and it is not surprising that the trade data was weaker than expected".

Sydney sank one percent and Singapore 0.9 percent, with Seoul 1.3 percent off and Taipei 0.7 percent down.

The mood had already been brittle after the European Central Bank slashed its growth forecasts and surprised everyone with a new round of policy stimulus, leaving investors fearing the worst for the global economy. Officials said they'll freeze the interest rate this year while also offering banks cheaper loans to prompt more lending to businesses. The S&P 500 was down 20.54 points, or 0.75 percent, to 2,728.39.

The crown slipped again a day after Swedish central bank governor Stefan Ingves struck a dovish note in a statement to parliament. GDP growth estimates for the year ahead have been lowered to 1.1 percent for the Eurozone, with Germany and Italy struggling in particular.

"The ECB has had a bullish impact on bond markets and that is set to continue", said Ciaran O'Hagan, rates strategist at Societe Generale in Paris.

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"Our initial take is these developments are pressing down on market confidence, seen in lower bond yields and equities".

USA 10-year Treasury yields touched a fresh two week low 2.627 percent.

"Not only do we have a tepid euro area economy, but the USA and China are slowing".

Chinese stocks fell the most in almost five months after the nation's biggest brokerage issued a rare sell rating on the People's Insurance Company (Group) of China, likely signalling the government's desire to slow a market that has outperformed global rivals over the past two months.

The movement follows the news that the United States trade deficit widened to a 10-year high in 2018, despite President Trump's efforts to narrow it. The US Unemployment rate is also pegged to fall, from 4.00% to 3.90%.

In commodity markets, oil prices eased as U.S. crude output and exports climbed to record highs, undermining efforts by producer club Opec to tighten global markets.

In late US trading, an index that tracks the dollar against a basket of six currencies was down 0.36 percent at 97.314.