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Asian factories slow as China-U.S. trade conflict starts to bite

Wednesday 01 August 2018 10:10 AM

Asian factory
Asian factory

Manufacturing activity across Asia slowed in July, deepening concerns about the region’s economic outlook as an intensifying trade conflict between the United States and China sent shudders through their trading partners.
A survey of purchasing managers released on Wednesday showed China’s manufacturing sector grew at its slowest pace in eight months in July, with new export orders suffering the worst slump since mid-2016.

Similar surveys revealed slowing activity from Australia to Japan. The shipping container market, in which the vast majority of finished manufacturing goods are imported and exported, shows a similar picture: the Harpex container index CHT-IDX-HARPX has fallen by 10 percent from its highest levels since 2011 hit in June.
Factory activity in the euro zone, where tariff threats were on hold, was expected to keep up the pace. In the United States it was seen cooling slightly, but still strong enough for the Federal Reserve to stay on track for two rate hikes this year even if it was likely to hold rates steady this week.