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Prospects Daily: Global equities remain under pressure on China concerns, US factory orders rise more than expected, Service sector growth slows in Brazil, China, and India

Financial Markets…Lingering concerns over a slowdown in the Chinese economy prompted a third straight day of declines for global stocks on Monday, while U.S. Treasuries advanced in the wake of some mixed economic reports. The benchmark MSCI world equity index touched a three-week low following a sharp overnight sell-off in Chinese stocks. Overall declines, however, were somewhat limited as European and U.S. shares have bounced back from earlier losses. China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dropped 1.9% to a five-month low, pushing down the MSCI developing-country stock index to the lowest level since September 6. Meanwhile, the benchmark 10-year Treasury yields fell to below 3%, after climbing to the highest level since July 2011 last week, as a private report showed unexpected weakness in the U.S. services industry in December.
 
High Income Economies…With orders for transportation equipment surging up by 8.3% in November after falling by 3.5% in October, factory orders for U.S. manufactured goods rose by 1.8% (m/m sa) in November following a revised 0.5% decrease in October.  Excluding transportation equipment, factory orders rose by 0.6% compared to a 0.1% increase in October.  On a three-monthly annualized basis, total factory orders increased 4.3% (3m/3m saar) after declining 1.7% in October, while factory orders excluding transportation equipment increased 1.4% following a 1.2% increase in October.
Germany's EU harmonized inflation came in below expectations by increasing only 0.5% (m/m nsa) in December following a 0.2% increase in November.  On a three-monthly annualized basis, inflation increased 0.1% (3m/3m nsaar) in December unchanged from November.
 
Developing Economies…East Asia and Pacific: China’s service sector growth slowed in December to its lowest level in four months. The seasonally adjusted Markit/HSBC headline service business activity index fell to 50.9 in December, down from 52.5 in November.  At the same time, the Markit/HSBC composite output index, which measures performance in the manufacturing and service sectors combined, fell to 51.2 in December from its eight-month high level of 52.3 in November, reflecting weaker rates of output and new order growth. Service sector employment increased for the fourth consecutive month, rising at a stronger pace, while manufacturing firms cut jobs for the second consecutive month, leaving employment at the composite level unchanged in December. 
 
Latin America and the Caribbean: Brazil’s composite output index, which measures performance in the manufacturing and service sectors, fell marginally to a seasonally adjusted 51.7 in December from 51.8 in November, indicating continued expansion in the private sector.  Underlying the December reading, new orders continued to rise but at the same pace as in November, and hiring increased at the slowest pace in four months as increased employment in the service sector was partially offset by a decline in hiring in the manufacturing sector. Meanwhile, Brazil’s HSBC Services Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 51.7 in December from 52.3 in November.
 
South Asia:   India’s service sector contracted in December, as new orders weakened. The seasonally adjusted Markit/HSBC Services Purchasing Mangers’ Index dropped to 46.7 in December, its lowest reading in three months, from 47.2 in November. The December reading marked the sixth consecutive month the services PMI has been below the no-change 50 mark.  The new orders index fell to 47.3 in December from 48.2 in November, also marking the sixth consecutive month it has been below the 50 mark.  Hiring in the service sector picked up in December, however, with the employment sub-index rising to its highest level since July.
 
Sub-Saharan Africa:  South Africa’s private sector growth slowed in December. The seasonally adjusted Markit/HSBC composite output index fell to 50.5 in December after rising to an eleven-month high of 51.6 in November. An index above 50 indicates growth in activity. Though declining the composite output index has now been above the no-change 50 mark for the third consecutive month. Underpinning the December reading, private sector output growth was unchanged in December and new business received by private sector firms increased marginally.
 

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