Asian stock markets struggled to maintain even a sliver of a rebound on Monday, as China’s shockingly dismal figures showed the destructive impact of trade restrictions on the world’s second-largest economy.
Retail sales in April in China declined 11.1 percent year on year, almost twice as much as economists predicted, while industrial output fell 2.9 percent, despite experts expecting a small uptick.
Fresh bank lending in China plummeted to its lowest level in nearly four years in April, posing a downside risk.
Those anticipating a rate cut were similarly disappointed by China’s central bank; however, on Sunday, Beijing approved a further cut in mortgage loan interest rates for a small group of home buyers.
Investors were left chilly by the news that Shanghai was loosening some of its lockdown restrictions.
In response, Chinese blue chips fell 0.4 percent, while commodity currencies, headed by the Australian dollar, which is frequently seen as a liquid proxy for the yuan, fell.