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Pacific Rim shrugs off “bad” Chinese factory numbers

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The official purchasing managers index from China came in at 49 in November, reflecting a slight contraction. However, traders were already steeled for much worse, so markets actually rallied in relief.

The "whisper" number on tonight's widely anticipated survey of Chinese factories was for a dismal 47.5. Any number below 50 reflects a shrinking industrial sector -- the heart of the Chinese economy.

The non-ferrous metal sector was among the worst performers, which could bode badly for China's aluminum producers in particular. Steel fared somewhat better.

The HSBC survey, which leans more heavily on the largest industrial concerns, slowed even more dramatically, to a level of 47.7.

As it is, Chinese manufacturing activity is now declining again for the first time since early-2009, when the world was still recovering from the 2008 credit crash.

But after Beijing unleashed a surprise round of stimulus , Chinese factories now seem relatively well shielded from a more significant downturn.

As a result, Shanghai stocks surged 3.5% while Hong Kong -- badly oversold in the recent volatility -- rebounded 5.6%.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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