Asian markets advance thanks to better than expected Chinese trade data

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Asian stocks rose Tuesday as investors prepared for sobering news of how coronavirus pandemic has hurt global corporate profits and the Chinese economy, the engine of growth for the region .
The Japanese reference Nikkei 225
NIK,
+ 3.12%

added 1.4%.

Data released by China on Tuesday showed that its trade improved in March but was below last year’s levels, and forecasters warned that Chinese exporters were facing a new crisis as the pandemic hit. coronavirus was depressing global demand.
Exports fell 6.6% from a year earlier to $ 185.1 billion, an improvement from a 17.2% contraction in January and February, customs data said on Tuesday. Imports fell 0.4% to $ 165.2 billion, recovering from a 4% drop in January and February after the factories and stores in Beijing reopened.

Exports to the United States fell 20.8% from last year to $ 25.2 billion, while imports of American products fell 12.6% to set at $ 9.9 billion. China’s politically sensitive trade surplus with the United States was $ 15.3 billion, three-quarters of its global surplus of $ 19.9 billion.
On Wall Street, the S&P 500
SPX,
-1.01%

1% drop after reducing early losses by the end of the day by more than half. The benchmark index jumped 12% last week, its best gain since 1974.
The S&P lost 28.19 points to 2,761.63. Dow Jones industrial average
DJIA,
-1.38%

fell 1.4% to 23,390.77. Nasdaq
COMP,
+ 0.47%

up 0.5% to 8,192.42. The Russell 2000 Index
RUT,
-2.78%

shares of small companies lost 2.8% to 1,212.04.
Cautious optimism that the outbreak has started to level off in some of the hardest hit areas and a further strong injection of economic support from the Federal Reserve helped spur the rally last week. This week, stocks may experience more volatility as companies report first quarter results, although analysts will focus mainly on what management teams have to say on what the rest of the business looks like. year.
Details may be difficult to find, as many companies have stopped providing profit forecasts due to uncertainty as to when government officials determine it is prudent to reduce social distance and stay-at-work mandates. the house that practically anchored the economy to a halt.
“Companies don’t know what the demand will be in the next three months or the next six months,” said Willie Delwiche, investment strategist at Baird.
Bond prices have dropped. The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 0.77% from 0.72% on Monday evening.
Several large banks, including JPMorgan Chase
JPM,
-4.44%

, Wells Fargo
WFC,
-5.33%

and Bank of America
BAC,
-3.78%

and large companies, including UnitedHealth Group
A H,
-0.23%

, Johnson & Johnson
JNJ,
-1.03%

and Rite Aid
RAD,
+ 8.42%

, are about to publish their results this week.
Analysts predict that profits for all S&P 500 companies will drop 9% in the first quarter from a year earlier, according to FactSet. This would be the largest annual decline in index profits since the third quarter of 2009, when profits fell nearly 16%.
“Our point of view is its only big cancellation,” said Keith Lerner, chief market strategist at SunTrust Advisory Services. “The market will start to think more about 2021, 2022. On the other hand, what does this business look like? “
Business closings and mandates to keep people at home to fight the coronavirus pandemic have forced record numbers of Americans to lose their jobs and have raised fears that many businesses will go bankrupt. Many investors are anticipating what may be the worst recession since the Great Depression.
Oil prices rose briefly after OPEC and other oil producers decided this weekend to cut production by nearly 10 million barrels a day, or one-tenth of the world’s supply, from May 1st.
Analysts said the cuts were not enough to make up for the vacuum in demand due to business and travel closings due to the coronavirus. But the deal has at least helped resolve a price war that has brought US crude oil to nearly $ 20 a barrel, hitting US oil and gas producers.
American benchmark crude
CLK20,
-0.71%

rose 17 cents to $ 22.58 a barrel in ecommerce on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Monday, it jumped more than $ 1 at first but then lost ground, falling 35 cents to $ 22.41 a barrel. Brent, the international standard
BRNM20,
-0.22%

, increased 40 cents to $ 32.14 a barrel.
The dollar
USDJPY,
-0.11%

fell to 107.66 Japanese yen from 107.76 yen on Monday evening.

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