Sat, 08 Oct 2022

SYDNEY, NSW, Australia - Disappointing economic data released Monday has triggered a slackening of key interest rates by the Bank of China.

Retail sales rose an annualized 2.7 percent last month, the National Bureau of Statistics said Monday. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast a growth rate of 5 percent.

Industrial production increased by 3.8 percent, against forecasts of 4.6 percent.

"These are further signs that the post-Shanghai lockdown growth bounce is weakening rapidly," Alvin Tan, a strategist at RBC, told Reuters Monday. "Monetary policy is losing traction except possibly for the exchange rate with exports being the one bright spot in the economy."

Concern about the Chinese economy kept local buyers of equities at bay, however in other markets across the region, stocks rallied.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 324.80 points or 1.14 percent to 28,871.78.

The Australian All Ordinaries climbed 36.10 points or 0.50 percent to 7,324.90.

New Zealand's S&P/NZX 50 added 58.51 points or 0.50 percent to 11,789.03.

In South Korea, the Kospi Composite advanced 4.16 points or 0.16 percent to 2,527.94.

China's Shanghai Composite inched down just 0.80 of a point or 0.02 percent to 3,276.09.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng sank 134.76 points or 0.7 percent, to close Monday at 20,040.86.

On foreign exchange markets, the commodity currencies weakened against the U.S. dollar. The Australian dollar declined to 0.7070 by the Sydney close Monday. China is Australia's number one export market.

The Canadian dollar dropped to 1.2818. The New Zealand dollar fell more than half a cent to 0.6399.

The euro was steady at 1.0235. The British pound was little changed at 1.2100. The Japanese yen was friendless at 133.34. The Swiss franc eased a tad to 0.9430.

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