Markets Are Down After Dismal News From China

downward spiral stair

Photo: chad_k via flickr

UPDATE: Markets are down in Europe amid poor economic data from China and the euro area.U.S. futures are also off, with Dow futures trading down about 50 points.

Most importantly, China’s trade surplus narrowed in July, to $25.1 billion from $31.7 billion in June. That number came in below expectations for a $35.2 billion trade surplus, according to analysts polled by Dow Jones. This corresponded to a mere 1 per cent growth in exports from a year ago (versus expectations of 8 per cent) and a 4.7 per cent growth in imports (versus expectations of 7 per cent).

Slowing demand and production in China signal underlying weakness in global markets.

More interesting, however, may actually be the lack of a sell-off in Europe. Admittedly, most of Europe goes on vacation in August, but the European Central Bank has left euro-area conditions notoriously unsettled. 

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