- China's house prices continued to rise in January, but the pace slowed
- However, regional hotspots are still very clear to see
- The Australian Dollar gained after the data, but perhaps not because of it
The Australian Dollar rose following Wednesday's release of Chinese house price data, but they may not have been behind its pep.
Beijing's efforts to cool its housing market may be bearing modest fruit according to the numbers. While house prices continued to rise across the country in January, the pace of gains seems to be slowing.
All-China new home prices rose 0.2% on the month, according to official figures. That was slower than December's 0.3% gain. Prices were up 12.2% compared with January 2016, again lower than December's 12.4% rise.
However, regional hot spots clearly remain. Prices in Shanghai rose 23.8% on-year in January. That was below December's 26.5% rise but still a chunky gain. In Beijing prices were up 24.7%. Existing-home prices rose in Beijing but fell in Shanghai. The average existing home price in the capital is still 34.6% higher than it was a year back.
This picture of more modest, all-country gains masking some very strong regional markets is not a new one for China. The authorities have taken measures to cool hot spots in the past and the latest data suggest that more of the same may be needed.
That said, home prices increased last month in the fewest cities for a year.
The Australian Dollar often acts as a liquid China proxy in the foreign exchange market. It may have done so after the data. AUD/USD certainly put in a modest rise, getting up to 0.76936 from 0.76799 before it. However, the pair seemed to have based at 0.76670 well before the numbers and had been rising into the release, so the link between the China data and the currency may not be clear.
Already Gaining: AUD/USD
Chart Compiled Using TradingView
The Aussie had already been lifted I the Asian session by Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe. Speaking in Sydney he doubted that more reductions in Australia's record-low interest rate would be sensible.
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--- Written by David Cottle, DailyFX Research
Contact and follow David on Twitter: @DavidCottleFX
DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.
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