The markets continue to shudder as political turbulence ferments, key tier one China data was just released which will offer little solace to risk sentiment as the GDP is 0.1% lower than what was expected by markets. Well, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise Chinas economy is losing steam, but there are worrying sings beyond the tariff effect that are more concerning. Specifically, that on a year on year basis industrial output came in significantly lower. But it’s Friday after yet another tumultuous week, and frankly, I doubt anyone has a serious axe to grind at this point other than squaring positions into the weekend.
USDCNY fixed at 6.9387 today, +112 pips from last fixing and -22 pips from the last closing at 6.9409 on 16:30 Beijing time and way lower than expectations sending the Yuan bears back their cage today. The fixes remain ambiguous and perhaps so my design to keep the market speculators in check that are looking for any signal to push USDCNH to 7
The Malaysian Ringgit
I what could best be described as hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Malaysia slashed its economic growth targets and deserted its plans to balance its budget by 2020, not exactly a ringing endorsement for the financial in Malaysia. And with capital gains taxes and other consumption taxes on the horizon, it’s not to difficult to figure out why Malaysia equity markets remain under pressure.
The leak on oil prices notwithstanding, regional risk sentiment remains ever so fragile as any sliver of optimism from US earnings gave way to that reality that trade tension and geopolitical unrest continues to gurgle.
Between the more hawkish FOMC minutes and the markets finding little comfort in US Treasury FX report, it’s a nasty combination for Asia investors. But things could get worse as the Yuan depreciation train could be arriving at the station anytime soon suggesting regional currency will undoubtedly remain a hostage to the Yuan’s underlying movement which could be a very a disruptive force for local sentiment.
But the fear of capital control slinking its way into BNM policy intensifies the risk of more foreign capital outflows. This possible policy shift is a very significant development and should be closely monitored.
Expect the Ringgit to trade with a negative bias against lower oil prices.