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Asian shares blindsided by dismal China data

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SYDNEY (Reuters) – Asian shares turned tail on the first trading day of the new year as more disappointing economic data from China darkened the mood and erased early gains in U.S. stock futures

FILE PHOTO: A man walks past an electronic board showing Nikkei share average outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan December 27, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS skidded 1.1 percent as a private survey showed China manufacturing activity contracted for the first time in 19 months.

The Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for December fell to 49.7, from 50.2 in November, and followed a raft of soft trade data from the Asian region.

The Shanghai blue chip index .CSI300 quickly shed 1 percent and South Korea .KS11 fell 0.8 percent. Japan’s Nikkei .N225 was closed for a holiday.

E-Mini future for the S&P 500 ESc1 lost their early gains to be down 0.2 percent.

The Australian dollar, often used as a proxy for China sentiment, lost 0.5 percent to its lowest since February 2016 at $0.7017 AUD=D3.

The safe-haven yen extended its broad rally as the U.S. dollar dropped to 109.53 JPY=, near its lowest since June last year. The dollar was otherwise mixed, edging up a little on the euro to $1.1445 EUR= but off a shade on a basket of currencies at 96.166 .DXY.

The dollar has been dragged by a steep fall in Treasury yields in recent weeks as investors wagered the U.S. Federal Reserve would not raise rates again, even though it is still projecting at least two more hikes.

AN END TO HIKES

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will have the chance to comment on the economic outlook when he participates in a joint discussion with former Fed chairs Janet Yellen and Ben Bernanke on Friday.

Also looming are a closely-watched survey on U.S. manufacturing due on Thursday, followed by the December payrolls report on Friday.

Fed fund futures <0#FF:> have all but priced out any hike for this year and now imply a quarter point cut by mid-2020.

The Treasury market also assumes the Fed is done and dusted. Yields on two-year paper US2YT=RR have tumbled to 2.49 percent, just barely above the cash rate, from a peak of 2.977 percent in November.

Yields on 10-year notes US10YT=RR have dived to their lowest since last February at 2.69 percent, making a bullish break of a major chart level at 2.717 percent.

The spread between two- and 10-year yields has in turn shrunk to the smallest since 2007, a flattening that has been a portent of recessions in the past.

“What is clear is that the global synchronized growth story that propelled risk assets higher has come to the end of its current run,” the Treasury team at OCBC Bank wrote in a note.

“Inexorably flattening yield curves and, now, partially inverted U.S. yield curve have poured cold water on further policy normalization going ahead.”

The pullback in the dollar and the chance of no more U.S. rate hikes has been a boon for gold. The precious metal fetched $1,280.40 an ounce XAU= to be close to a six-month peak.

Oil prices flagged anew after a punishing 2018. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI)futures slumped nearly 25 percent last year, while Brent lost 19.5 percent.

On Wednesday, U.S. crude futures CLc1 eased 2 cents to $45.39 a barrel, while Brent LCOc1 fell 18 cents to $53.64.

Editing by Michael Perry and Sam Holmes

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Independent Consultant Beginner – 6 Should Have Pieces Of It Technology And Software

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Prima Wireless Earbuds Reviewhttps://primawirelessearbuds.net/.

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What Make Sure You Really Know Right Anyone Decide To Travel

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When traveling with children advised plan your route in advance. Do a little research and see as relevant and fun places to stop such as parks, museums or other attractions. Once you take breaks every non-chemical hours so everyone maybe even including the children probably get out and stretch their legs.

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Majority of Canadian workers willing to take less pay for a workplace pension plan: survey

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A majority (70 per cent) of Canadians say they’re willing to forgo a higher salary in exchange for a workplace pension plan, according to a new survey for the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan by Abacus Data.

The survey, which polled more than 2,000 Canadian adults in April, signals an opportunity for employers to build back the post-coronavirus pandemic working landscape better by expanding access to good retirement plans — whether they’re defined benefit, defined contribution or group registered retirement savings plans, says Steven McCormick, senior vice-president of plan operations at the HOOPP.

According to the survey, a secure retirement remains of greater concern for Canadians than concerns about their health, debt load and job security. McCormick says this has been a consistent worry the HOOPP has seen in survey results over the past couple of years. Nearly half (48 per cent) of respondents said they’re very concerned about having enough money in retirement, while 31 per cent were highly concerned about their personal debt load and 26 per cent cited their job security. Close to half of respondents expressed high concerns for their physical (43 per cent) and mental (40 per cent) health.

In addition, the pandemic has harmed the finances of more than half (52 per cent) of Canadians’ surveyed and it’s had a particularly disproportionate affect on the finances of younger adults. Adults aged 44 and younger said they’re twice as likely (25 per cent) to have had their finances greatly harmed, compared to those over the age of 60 (12 per cent).

Generally, younger adults tend to work in roles that may have been impacted most by the pandemic, says McCormick, whether in service industries that were shut down or frontline health care that have been busy but don’t always come with access to a pension plan. “Affordability is an issue, so I think their worries increased during this time.”

And while almost half (46 per cent) of Canadians surveyed said they’ve saved more money than they would have since the onset of the pandemic, among these respondents, over half (52 per cent) didn’t put any of their savings toward their retirement. Overall, most (63 per cent) Canadians surveyed haven’t set aside or saved anything for retirement in the past year, a five-point increase since 2019.

McCormick says this may be due to uncertainty or hesitancy about whether people’s immediate needs outweigh longer-term needs. And with 55 per cent of respondents noting they were very concerned about the cost of day-to-day living, he adds that rising prices have fuelled insecurity and worries so people are creating their own emergency funds right now.

While there’s a segment of the population who’ve saved more and, for them, the pandemic has created wealth, he doesn’t see this as a common narrative in the survey data. “If you don’t have access to a workplace pension or the opportunity to have things like automatic enrolment, the uncertainty of the time may have you holding onto money,” says McCormick. “In Ontario, we’re more optimistic about the pandemic than we were maybe a month ago, but there are still people worrying about whether there’ll be a fourth wave.”

In addition, more than two-thirds (67 per cent) of respondents said a retirement crisis is looming and 65 per cent said saving for retirement is prohibitively expensive. It’s a common and shared dream for many people in looking forward to a secure retirement, says McCormick, noting for many, making that dream a reality remains elusive.

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