China’s trade surplus drops to lowest level in 13 months

Weak economic data mute Asian markets

By Nadia Elbilassy | @Nadia Elbilassy | 7 June 2023

Market open
  • Disappointing economic data from China and Australia dampens market sentiment in Asia, leading to limited movement in Asian currencies.

  • Oil prices continue to decline despite Saudi Arabia's announcement of deeper output cuts

  • European stock markets muted as investors remain cautious due to worsening economic conditions and upcoming central bank meetings.

Weak data from China

Asian currencies experienced limited movement as disappointing economic data from China and Australia dampened market sentiment in the region. Additionally, anticipation of the upcoming Federal Reserve meeting added to the cautious outlook.

The Chinese yuan initially showed gains but ultimately remained unchanged after reports revealed that China's trade surplus in May dropped to its lowest level in 13 months. This decline was primarily driven by an unexpected decrease in exports, indicating persistent weakness in overseas demand for Chinese products.

These challenging global economic conditions pose additional challenges for China as it strives to recover from the impact of three years of COVID-related disruptions.

Oil prices continue declining

Oil prices continued to decline due to increasing worries about global economic challenges, negating the earlier gains made following Saudi Arabia's unexpected announcement to further reduce output.

Brent crude futures dropped by 40 cents, equivalent to a 0.5% decrease, settling at $75.89 per barrel. Likewise, U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell by 35 cents, also 0.5%, reaching $71.39 per barrel.

European futures muted

European stock markets are anticipated to open with minimal changes on Wednesday, as investors maintain cautious positioning in response to deteriorating economic conditions.

The upcoming central bank meetings scheduled for next week add to the prevailing sentiment, prompting investors to carefully evaluate the evolving situation. Consequently, market activity is expected to be relatively subdued as participants analyze the impact of these factors on stock market performance.