China Gets Ready For The Lunar New Year

China Gets Ready For The Lunar New Year

Hong Kong shares rose early today for a fourth straight day of gains. Yesterdays global economic news propped up the markets after successful debt auctions by European nations and an extended rally on Wall Street. Including rumors on a negotiations agreement in Greece.

The Hang Seng Index clawed back to the psychologically important 20,000-point level, rising 0.6% to 20,061.09. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index added rose to11,185.96, gains on the mainland exchanges included the Shanghai Composite up 0.4% to 2,305.32.

The flash China manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index for January reported in at 48.8, up from a final reading of 48.7 last month. The flash PMI reading however represented a three-month high, Despite the upside surprise of industrial production growth in December, the ongoing slowdown of investment and exports implies more headwinds to growth and likely destocking pressures for manufacturers in the coming months. The silver lining in the cloud was in the PMI sub-components, where data for manufacturing output showed conditions were contracting at an accelerating pace, while new orders were contracting at a slower clip. With a slower contraction in new orders, the next report should reflect this is output, meaning that China's manufacturing show rate in a more positive light next mont. This also indicates the the global economy is getting healthier. The positive news from the flash report indicated that new export orders were among the few bright spots, with conditions expanding, changing direction from contraction indicated last month. In all the report is a positive sign of things to come.

China markets will close for the Lunar New Year, as shown below.

Lunar New Year 1
Hong Kong Stock Exchange HONG KONG Shanghai Stock Exchange CHINA

Lunar New Year 2
Hong Kong Stock Exchange HONG KONG Shanghai Stock Exchange CHINA

Lunar New Year 3
Hong Kong Stock Exchange HONG KONG Shanghai Stock Exchange CHINA

Lunar New Year 4
Shanghai Stock Exchange CHINA

Lunar New Year 5
Shanghai Stock Exchange CHINA

This week has been full of news and data out of China ahead of the New Year. The recent housing and real estate reports have some negative results stemming from the correction in the nation's housing market, where weakening home prices are gaining to the downside. The nationwide housing-price data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday were consistent with other recent statistics on sales, construction starts and investments that point where a deteriorating trends is developing. Data released by the NBS earlier this week showed average housing prices fell in December in 53 of 70 cities tracked, while only two cities showed a small increase. The economy as a whole has not felt much chill yet, but the first half of 2012 is going to be difficult for not just property developers with weaker housing sales and falling investment in real estate projects sending a rippling effect throughout the housing sector.

No surprise, for the 11th year Chinese officials say they cannot publish the nation's Gini coefficient - a common measure of income inequality used worldwide.

The excuse given by , National Bureau of Statistics Director Ma is that data on high-income groups is incomplete. Many economists and even Human Rights Organizations are up in arms about this response, saying the government is looking for reasons to de-emphasize China's significant wealth gap.

China has been easing monetary policy, opening markets and developing new relationships in the past year and will width=150continue to do so, which has recently been proven by the change in currency policy and the trading of the yuan. China may be slow to react, in many cases, but slowly they are opening their doors to western business and philosophy. Let's all extend good wishes to China and all the Chinese peoples around the globe for a wonderful new year.