HO CHI MINH CITY – After disappointing GDP growth in the first quarter (5.15% YoY), Vietnam achieved impressive growth of 6.17% in Q2, bringing the figure of the first half (1H) at 5.73%. Sector-wise, solid growth continued to be seen in the manufacturing and construction sectors (+10.5% YoY and +8.5% YoY in 1H, respectively), but the mining sector was still weak (-8.2% YoY) due to low oil prices.
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SINGAPORE - The number of negative outlooks in Asia-Pacific economies remains elevated as global and regional uncertainties weigh on credit metrics, says ratings agency Standard and Poor’s. “Following the upgrade of the Indonesian sovereign credit rating to investment grade, none of the 21 ratings in the region currently record a positive outlook,” S&P says.
SEOUL - The Bank of Korea has maintained its policy rate at 1.25% but upgraded its 2017 growth forecast to 2.8% from 2.6% previously. ANZ Bank says the upgrade considers the strength of exports and facilities investment over the first half of the year.
HONG KONG - China trade data came in stronger in June, and higher than market expectations. In dollar terms, export growth was 11.3% y-o-y while imports lifted 17.2%. Machinery and electronics and high-tech products continued to be the main drivers for exports, while resilient demand for capital goods and crude oil were behind the strength in imports.
BEIJING - China has vowed to beef up construction of a cybersecurity system-where Government, enterprises and industry associations strengthen their co-operation, and laws and regulations related to cybersecurity are improved-the top industry regulator said on Tuesday.
HAMBURG – South Korea, the U.S. and Japan have released a joint statement out of the G20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany, outlining measures to deal with threats posed by the nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes in North Korea.
BANGKOK – Following criticism from employers, penalties for a number of offences under Thailand’s new Foreign Workers Law have been suspended by the Government until January 1, 2018. They were originally to be effective immediately from June 23 following implementation of an Emergency Decree.
BEIJING - India overtook the United States as the country with the most trade remedy investigations against China in the first half of this year, China’s Ministry of Commerce reports. India initiated 12 investigations against Chinese products, including aluminum foil and photovoltaic products, from January-June, followed by the US, which had 11, according to the Ministry.
SINGAPORE - Asia-Pacific economies are drifting into the third quarter of 2017 on a quiet note, with the macro story flat on the 20th anniversary of the Asian Financial Crisis, says Paul Gruenwald, S&P Global Chief Economist for Asia-Pacific. "Hopes are fading fast for a reflation story driven by the Keynesian
inclinations of the new U.S. Administration," he says in a new report.
GENEVA - International Air Transport Association (IATA) data for global air freight markets shows demand, measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTKs), grew 12.7% in May 2017 compared to the year-earlier period. This was up from the 8.7% annual growth recorded in April 2017 and is more than three times higher than the five year average growth rate of 3.8%.
BANGKOK - The Bank of Thailand in a unanimous decision today maintained its interest policy rate steady at 1.50%. It also changed its growth and inflation forecasts – the growth forecast was modestly raised, the inflation forecast lowered more meaningfully.
SINGAPORE - Countries that suffered in the Asian Financial Crisis 20 years ago have substantially reduced their external vulnerabilities and improved risk management over the past two decades, but high asset prices and rapid credit growth in recent years are reminiscent of conditions that prevailed when the Thai baht's peg broke on July 2, 1997, S&P Global Ratings says in report published today.
BEJING - Visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, met here Monday and agreed to further cement bilateral ties and strengthen coordination on the Korean Peninsula and other major issues, accosrding to the State newsagency Xinhua.
“China and Russia are comprehensive strategic partners of co-ordination, and it is quite important for them to intensify communication and co-ordination in dealing with major affairs, said Xi, who had a meeting with Putin in the Kremlin shortly after his arrival in Moscow,” said the Xinhua report.
BEIJING - China hopes the United States will appropriately address issues regarding Taiwan by honouring the one-China policy and the three key bilateral joint statements made to date, President Xi Jinping told US President Donald Trump in a telephone conversation on Monday, ac cording to the China Daily.
HONG KONG - China’s official manufacturing PMI (released last Friday) picked up significantly to 51.7 in June from 51.2 in May, well above market expectations (consensus: 51), and following the same trend, the Caixin China Manufacturing PMI announced today, which includes a survey sample tilting toward SMEs and exporters, increased to 50.4 in June from 49.6 the previous month (Ccnsensus: 49.8).
HONG KONG — Commodity prices fell for the fourth month in a row in June, with HSBC’s proxy for the IMF Index pointing to a fall of around 4% m-o-m. The weakness was broad-based, with 21 of the 32 commodities HSBC monitors having a lower average price than in May.