No big bad news story from China this morning, but the news trend continues to emphasize the downside.
For example, this morning a U.S. official said the U.S. is unlikely to extend a waiver allowing American firms to supply China’s Huawei Technologies with technology products critical to Huawei’s smartphones and other telecom gear.
Or, for example, bond market analysts have noted that a $8.6 billion wave of offshore dollar-denominated debt coming due in 2020 has been issued by Chinese companies that are stressed–meaning that their bonds already pay yields of at least 15%. That’s setting up 2020 to be a year for record defaults in the offshore market for Chinese corporate bonds after a record 2019 for defaults in Chinese corporate bonds on the domestic market. Nearly 40% of total outstanding corporate dollar bonds from China’s most troubled companies come due next year.
Or, for example, new U.S. sanctions on Chinese tanker companies accused of transporting Iranian crude have sent rates for ships hauling 2 million-barrel cargoes of Middle East oil to Asia up by 19%. That’s not good news for a Chinese economy where corporate profits are under stress and where GDP growth rates are slumping.
I don’t think any of this is enough, by itself, to cause money to move out of Chinese and global assets, but it sure doesn’t encourage investors and traders to put money to work in those sectors.