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Asian markets cheer up as China’s 200% trade surplus defies effects of trade spat with US

Asian markets cheer up as China’s 200% trade surplus defies effects of trade spat with US
Exceeding all the analysts expectations, exports of goods from China saw a dramatic surge in May as Chinese trade activity demonstrated stiff resistance against the ongoing trade battle with Washington.

China’s trade surplus last month totaled $41.65 billion, marking nearly a 200 percent monthly growth against $13.84 billion fixed in April, according to the latest data released by China’s General Administration of Customs.

The country’s exports revealed a year-on-year rise of 1.1 percent against market expectations of a modest decline, while experts surveyed by Reuters projected the outward trade to decline by 3.8 percent after a significant contraction of 2.7 percent seen in April.

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The positive statistics bolstered Asian stock markets on Monday with the Shenzhen component rising 1.473 percent, the Shanghai composite growing 0.98 percent, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index up 2.03 percent.

However, China’s imports came in worse than expected, having fallen 8.5 percent after a rise of four percent in April. The slump could be partially triggered by a decline in shipments from the US, and weakening domestic demand.

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The spiraling conflict between the world’s two biggest economies over the past year has brought an exchange of several rounds of mutual tariff hikes. The latest escalation saw the US raising tariffs to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. China hit back with up to 25 percent tariffs on 5,000 US products worth $60 billion.

Meanwhile, the latest data shows China’s trade surplus with the US increasing to $26.89 billion in May against $21.01 billion in April.

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