The last round of manufacturing numbers from Beijing moved the world's markets. This week, we have a lot more data to anticipate, and the results could once again be revelatory.
The week kicks off with tomorrow night's quarterly gauges of Chinese business sentiment, the business climate index and the entrepreneur confidence index. Neither is widely followed, but investors who want a better sense of conditions on the ground in China -- often obscured by the spin in Beijing -- could do worse than to take a look. Last quarter, both numbers were in the 133 - 136 range.
The big numbers start Wednesday with the trade balance numbers. Economists expect to see Chinese exports and imports increased 26% and 25%, respectively, in September while the overall trade balance slipped to $17.75 billion. If so, this would represent a significant deceleration from August (when imports and exports were surging ahead 34% to 35%).
Large-cap-heavy FXI is probably one of the portfolios that is best keyed to the trade situation, while more domestically focused funds like consumer-oriented CHIQ or small-cap HAO may get a boost from unusually strong local confidence numbers:
Thursday brings leading economic indicators, which are again not well followed as yet.
Investors are also geared up to get new money supply and loan numbers some time this week. Although the schedule seems more than a little vague at this point, the loan origination data will be closely scrutinized when they emerge from Beijing.
The health of lending in China is one of the best bits of insight we have into how the country's housing and other real estate markets are faring in the wake of the spring's new "draconian" rules. Analysts are steeled to see new lending slip to a rate of 500 billion yuan -- a significant downswing from 545 billion yuan in August.
Naturally, any unusually robust numbers should put added upside pressure on the yuan (and on Beijing to let the yuan float). Good news for the Chinese economy should normally translate into upside for yuan portfolios like CYB and CNY, for example.