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     BEIJING (MNI) - The Caixin China manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index
(PMI) fell 0.5 to 49.7 in December from November, a 19-month low, in another
sign that factory activities in China are shrinking.
     New orders, which indicates future activity level, fell for the first time
since July 2016, Caixin said in a statement. Many surveyed manufacturers noted
that the sluggish demand has dampened sales. New export orders continued to fall
for the ninth month, albeit at a slower pace, Caixin said.
     "Manufacturing activities could be further dampened by declining domestic
demand and suppressed external demand," Zhong Zhengsheng, chief economist at
Caixin commented in the statement. Companies are more inclined to reduce
inventories, while the prices of industrial products face a downturn, Zhong
said.
     The Caixin figure followed the downward trend of the official PMI. The PMI
as reported by the National Bureau of Statistics Monday dropped to 49.4 from
50.0 in November, and is now at the lowest since 49.0 recorded in February 2016.
     The Caixin PMI tracks small and medium sized manufacturers that are not
surveyed by NBS.
--MNI Beijing Bureau; +86 (10) 8532-5998; email: wanxia.lin@marketnews.com
--MNI Beijing Bureau; +86 10 8532 5998; email: william.bi@mni-news.com
[TOPICS: M$A$$$,M$Q$$$]