China Halts Youth Jobs Data, Stoking Transparency Concerns
Comment of the Day

August 15 2023

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

China Halts Youth Jobs Data, Stoking Transparency Concerns

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest. Here is a section:

The move is the latest example of how President Xi Jinping’s government is limiting access to information in order to more closely guard data it deems sensitive and manage the narrative about the weakening economy.

China has over the past year limited access to corporate data, court documents, academic journals and raided expert networks serving businesses, hampering investors’ ability to assess the economy. Officials have also been downplaying economic risks like deflation, with some Chinese-based analysts saying they were instructed by regulators and their companies not to discuss the matter publicly.

Eoin Treacy's view

When everything is going well the opacity of data is ignored. There have been doubts about the accuracy of China’s data for decades, so it is hardly surprising they have given up on printing data which does not gel with the official position. It is being viewed as a negative today because the problems are deep and the response is not what investors have come to expect. Cutting interest rates has only confirmed the depth of the issues facing the Chinese property/infrastructure sectors.
The Yen is back testing the 20 level versus the Renminbi. How willing will the Chinese authorities be to endure a significant loss competitiveness relative to the Japan? Japan’s economic outperformance is being fuelled back exports, backed by a weak currency. That is not something neighbouring governments are likely to ignore for long. That suggests potential for additional weakness in the Renminbi and a new low versus the Dollar.
The China Enterprises Index (H-Shares) closed on the low of day and will need to sustain a move above the 200-day to confirm a return to demand dominance.
Copper remains a reliable barometer of the health of the Chinese infrastructure and property sectors. It continues to extend recent weakness and is now testing the June low. A clear and sustained move above $4 will be required to question the medium-term downward bias.
The Blackrock World Mining Trust has returned to test the region of the 1000-day MA and the lower side of the three-year range. If the benefit of the doubt is to be given to higher to lateral ranging it will have to find support soon. 

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