Key news on Monday centred on unexpected growth in Japan, contrasting with yet further indications of a slowing economy in China. Japan’s economy grew more than the government initially estimated in the first quarter, shoring up Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ‘Abenomics’ plan to boost growth. GDP rose 4.1% year-on-year, substantially higher than the expected 3.5% for the quarter. More good news came in the shape of a current account surplus of 750 billion yen (US$7.6 billion) for April, which was more than double analysts’ estimates of 350 billion yen.
By contrast, China’s latest raft of economic news showed weaker-than-expected data with May trade, inflation and lending numbers trailing estimates, signalling weaker global and domestic demand.
Industrial production rose 9.2% year-on-year, below expectations, and factory-gate prices fell for a 15th month. Export gains were at a 10-month low, imports dropped while fixed-asset investment growth moderated and new yuan loans declined.The news is adding to pressure on China’s new leadership to adjust monetary policy but media reports say that government flexibility is limited by rising home prices, financial risks and overcapacity.
Indonesian investment company Saratoga Investama Sedaya’s IPO has been completed, but the company was forced to lower its price by almost 10% below the initial offer number. The listing only raised US$151 million, well below the hoped-for US$219 million.
Philippines Minister of State-Owned Enterprises Dahlan Iskan says the Philippine government has asked Indonesia to collaborate in developing shariah banking in the Philippines.
Deutsche Bank has established a custodial and vaulting service for gold at the Singapore Freeport, with capacity for up to 200 tonnes.