Australian shares have curled downwards after a strong start from the open on Monday. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has given back early gains to now trade just nine basis points higher at 7,084.
After a good squeeze of the juice on opn, the ASX 200 began to turn south amid the release of the latest economic data from China.
Reportedly, the data came in much softer than expected, resulting in traders having to re-evaluate their views on the current state of the ASX.
What’s up with the ASX 200 today?
Data out of China on its economic growth has come in weaker than market expectations. As The Australian reports today, “China’s monthly economic activity data for April are even weaker than expected as COVID lockdowns appear to do more damage than expected.”
Underlying the weakness was China’s COVID-19 lockdown policy, reports say. Further, experts from Oxford Economics predict the resultant disruption from China could extend well into June.
Economist Tommy Wu, quoted by The Australian, said:
China’s economy could see a more meaningful recovery in the second half, barring a Shanghai-like lockdown in another major city.
Still, the risks to the outlook are tilted to the downside, as the effectiveness of policy stimulus will largely depend on the scale of future COVID outbreaks and lockdowns.
Consequently, both tech and industrials are leading the pack today, with the S&P/ASX 200 Industrials Index (ASX: XNJ) and the S&P/ASX All Technology Index (ASX: XTX) both up more than 2% on the day.
In the absence of any other market news, it appears that the economic data from China has had a material impact on Aussie shares today.
A bit more on the ASX 200
In the last 12 months, the index tracking the ASX 200 has held onto a more than 1% gain. However, it has slipped almost 5% into the red this year to date.