Baidu Inc (ADR) (BIDU) Tumbles Amid Poor Economic Data

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Baidu Inc (ADR) (BIDU) Tumbles Amid Poor Economic Data

Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU) slid over 4% amid China’s factory production posting the worst start to a year since 2009.

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The share price fall has been accentuated following fears of escalating crisis in Ukraine.

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China’s slower growth

China’s factory-production posted the worst start to a year since 2009. Its factory-production grew 8.6% in January and February, while China’s retail sales increased at the slowest pace since 2004.

Baidu Inc (NASDAQ:BIDU)’s fall also led to Chinese stocks trading in New York to a five-week low.

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China’s retail sales – a key measure of consumer spending – too posted less-than-analysts’ expectations. The retail sales increased 11.8% from the year-ago period, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. Moreover, China’s fixed-asset investment, a measure of government spending on infrastructure, expanded 17.9%.

The threat of a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy was echoed in stock performance. The Bloomberg China-US Equity Index of the most-traded stocks in the U.S. fell 2.7% to 96.49, extending a five-day slump to 8.2%.

Toxic cocktail of market uncertainty

The largest Chinese exchange-traded fund in the U.S – the iShares China Large-Cap ETF- dropped 2.5% to an eight-month low of $32.98, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index retreated 1.2%.

According to Alastair McCaig, analyst at IG: “Today has the a distinct whiff of a ‘risk-off’ day as traders clear the decks ahead of Crimea voting this weekend”. David Bulk, market strategist at Panmure Gordon, said there is a ‘toxic cocktail’ of market uncertainty at the moment.

US Secretary of State John Kerry is in London for key talks on Ukraine with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, as a disputed referendum in Crimea looms on Sunday.

John Kerry told a Senate panel in Washington that the U.S. and Europe will take ‘very serious’ steps the day after the vote ‘if there is no sign’ of a resolution to the crisis in Ukraine.

However, the Shanghai Composite Index jumped 1.1%, the most in three weeks, to 2,019.11, following speculation the securities regulator will permit listed companies to sell preferred shares for the first time.

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Mani is a Senior Financial Consultant. He has worked in Senior Management role in large banking, financial and information technology organizations. He has provided solutions for major banking and securities firms across the globe in the area of retail, corporate and investment banking. He holds MBA (Finance) and Professional Management Accounting Qualifications. His hobbies are tracking global financial developments and watching sports
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