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China factories stall; Japanese exports enjoy rare bounce

Date 20-November-2014
Subject China factories stall; Japanese exports enjoy rare bounce

BEIJING: China's factories looked to have hit an air pocket in November as a private survey showed output falling for the first time in six months, adding to concerns about slowing economic momentum and to the case for further policy easing from Beijing.

Yet there was a rare glimpse of good news from Japan, which reported surprisingly strong growth in exports for October, a shift that should get a boost from the latest dive in the yen.

The Japanese currency carved out a seven-year trough on the dollar on Thursday and a six-year low on the euro, and seemed set for further losses given the outlook for sustained policy stimulus from the Bank of Japan.

In China, the flow of data was again disappointing as an early reading on HSBC/Markit's manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) showed a drop to a six-month low of 50.0 in November, from 50.4 in October.

A cooling property sector, erratic foreign demand and overcapacity have weighed on its manufacturers and the broader economy this year despite a steady stream of stimulus measures.

China's annual growth slowed to 7.3 per cent in the third quarter, leaving 2014 on track to be slowest in 24 years.

"We still see uncertainties in the months ahead from the property market and on the export front. We think more monetary and fiscal easing measures should be deployed." said Hongbin Qu, chief China economist at HSBC.

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