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How is the economy doing? Not good. But stockmarkets look ahead, right?

July 11th, 2008 · No Comments

We continue a collection of news. If you are easily depressed, skip the first bit, read the end only…

There are signs that China is slowing down. All you people who thought (more like hoped?) that Asia could take over the role of locomotive of the world economy from a temporarily disabled United States, might have to think again

Chinese exporters say they are facing their toughest year in memory because of the combination of rising domestic costs and softer global demand.

Export grew to  $121.5bn (£62bn), an 18.2% year on year rise but lower than the 28% rise seen in May. This was apparently so worrying that:

The government may now try to slow the growth of China’s currency, which is making Chinese exports more expensive… The Chinese government has recently allowed the yuan to grow against the dollar as it seeks to tackle inflation in China which is near 12-year highs.

High inflation and slowing growth, haven’t we seen that somewhere else, recently..

Growth is already negative in Signapore, the whole of Asia is feeling the slowdown.

Inflation is even arriving in Japan where deflation had reigned supreme for over a decade

Even in Japan, which has battled deflation for years, data showed wholesale prices last month jumped to the highest in 27 years, spelling steeper costs for businesses, which have struggled to pass them on to consumers.

Europe is slowing down. If you thought Europe was holding up well, think again:

Shares in Carrefour sank 8.6 percent on Thursday after the French retailer’s second-quarter sales at its hypermarkets showed clear signs of a consumer spending slowdown. The stock has lost 28 percent in a month.

In fact, Europe might already experience a shrinking economy, at least its largest economy:

A German government source said on Thursday the euro zone’s largest economy probably shrank in the second quarter.

Now the good news, at least, according to ING Bank:

The equity market is getting close to capitulation as consumer-related worries continue to hit food and retail shares while fears of bank failures knock financial stocks lower, said ING’s Ad van Tiggelen.

“If you look at oversold levels, we are already there. We’re clearly in a bear market which may last until the end of this year or sometimes next year, and we might be reaching the bottom at the moment,” van Tiggelen, senior strategist at ING Investment Management, told Reuters on Thursday.

“The problem is there is no place to hide, utilities are going down, staples are going down, now even the materials and oils are going down. Unlike in March, insider buying is very muted because management themselves are much more pessimistic now,” he said.

“We think we are close to capitulation levels and that valuations are becoming quite supportive now,” he said, pointing out that stocks will soon be poised for a bear market rally.

Capitulation is a market concept describing heavy, sometimes panic selling of stocks and sharp declines. It heralds the bottom and a beginning of an upturn as the belief is that everyone who wants to sell has sold.

Now, if this is too much gloom and doom, you might want to realize that elsewhere, some people are really trying hard to make their country a happier place, with what can only be described as an innovative approach:

She performed a series of striptease dances on the Santiago underground, the metro. Ms Morilles, 26, called her performances “happy minutes.” A professional pole dancer, she boarded the train at one station, and stripped down to skimpy underwear in time to exit at the next station. “This is just a beginning. We are starting an idea here that will grow and be developed further,” she told Reuters news agency as she was being taken into custody. “Chile is still a pretty timid country,” her manager, Gustavo Pradenas, said. “People aren’t very extroverted and we want to take aim at that and make Chile a happier country.”

Oh well.. Wait for the first “girls gone wild” video from Santiago to turn up (in a police station, we bet..)

Tags: The Markets