Why the China trade data is important for world markets

A worker polishes steel coils at a factory of Dongbei Special Steel Group in Dalian, China.
China Daily | Reuters

The two market-moving stories this morning are banks and China.

Chinese exports were much better than expected, and imports dropped less than expected.

China trade (YOY, in dollars)

Exports: up 11.5 percent

Imports: down 7.6 percent

But this is quoted in dollars. In Asia and especially in China, everyone looks at the data in renminbi terms, and the numbers are quite a bit better.

China trade (YOY, in CNY)

Exports up 18.7 percent

Imports down 1.7 percent

On this, China markets were up strongly. There was a short squeeze in Hong Kong, with markets up there 3.2 percent. The Shanghai Composite rose 1.42 percent, and the Shenzhen was up 1.35 percent.