Intraday Market Thoughts

China in Flux & Tech Tuesday

by Adam Button
Jul 27, 2021 12:46

China's markets resume their selloff in light of the escalating crackdown on educational tech companies but that's not the only reason to worry. Durable goods orders, consumer confidence and the Richmond Fed are due up next. After the closing US bell, earnings are due from US tech giants Apple, Microsoft, and Alphabet. The chart below suggests Bitcoin is gradually breaking out of the negative cycle of daily changes, as the gains grow and the declined shrink.    

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China in Flux & Tech Tuesday - Bitcoin Higher Highs Jul 26 2021 (Chart 1)

The Hong Kong Hang Seng fell 4.1% on Tuesday after a similar decline on Monday, erasing the gains for the year while the Shanghai Composite fell 2.5% after shedding 2.3% the prior session. The trigger was a new set of regulations banning education tech firms (that teach school curricula) from making profits, raising capital or going public. Those particular companies were crushed, but the move sparked fear of regulations hitting elsewhere.

For broader markets, Chinese regulation isn't yet a worry, which is why they shrugged off the Chinese news. But observers are increasingly worrying about the downdraft spilling onto Western markets. Don't forget the Fed decision tomorrow. 

What could undermine sentiment in the days ahead is the increasing difficulty in controlling the delta variant. The city of Nanjing – population 8.5m – went into a strict lockdown on Monday after an outbreak of 76 cases, with about half transmitted locally. Officials have mandated mass testing to stop the spread.

The fear is that every country will have to transition to a strategy for living with covid, rather than completely suppressing it. Australia is struggling with this right now that has weighed heavily on AUD, which is just above the lowest levels since December. China has more tools in the toolbox to control the virus but everything we learn about delta highlights how tough it is to contain. If lockdowns like in Nanjing begin to spread, it could spark a rethink on global growth.

We will continue to watch that front but the economic calendar will offer plenty to monitor in the day ahead with a busy slate and the Fed on Wednesday. From the Tuesday releases, consumer confidence may have the most impact. It's impressively rebounded from the start of the year to 127 from 87 at the turn of the year. There's a chance it could get back to the pre-pandemic level of 132. That could draw a line under the dollar ahead of the FOMC.



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