Aussie opens lower as Chinese exports decline more than expected

Data from China over the weekend showed another monthly decline in Chinese exports, its biggest fall in four months. Separate data also showed a collapse in producer prices in China, showing that faltering industrial demand has hit global trade and sent emerging market assets reeling.

Chinese exports tumbled 8.3 percent in July, their biggest drop in four months and far worse than expected, reinforcing expectations that Beijing will be forced to roll out more stimulus to support the world’s second-largest economy.

Imports also fell heavily from a year earlier, in line with market forecasts but suggesting domestic demand might be too feeble to offset the weaker global demand for China’s exports.

Economists had forecast exports to fall just 1 percent, after a 2.8 percent uptick in June, but the data on Saturday showed depressed demand from Europe and the first drop in exports to the United States, China’s biggest market, since March.

The Australian dollar fell against the US dollar, back below the key 74 US cent level that it hit on Friday. Asian shares fell within sight of a fresh 1-1/2 year low while commodity currencies such as the Malaysian ringgit fell further.

Emerging market equities have been among the hardest hit as companies struggle to deal with the China factor. Much of that decline this year has been caused by a sustained slowdown in China which comes at a particularly sensitive time for emerging markets. The slowdown comes as expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will end nearly a decade of its zero interest rates soon have gained momentum in recent weeks, dealing a further blow to emerging market currencies and commodities.

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