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China’s CPI and producer price inflation in March slows

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China’s producer price inflation continued to cool in March, slowing to a 17-month low and backing expectations of a broader slackening in economic growth this year.

Consumer inflation also eased in the previous month as the effects of booming demand spurred by the Lunar New Year holiday in February receded, official data showed on Wednesday.

There are some worries that an escalating trade dispute between China and the United States could push up inflation over the coming months, though many analysts believe any impact on consumer prices will be limited.

The producer price index (PPI) rose 3.1 percent in March from a year earlier, compared with 3.7 percent in February, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said.

China’s factory-gate inflation has now softened for five months in a row, supporting the view that a slowdown in the world’s second largest economy is inevitable, weighed down by the cooling property market and rising borrowing costs.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected March producer inflation would moderate slightly to 3.2 percent.

On a month-on-month basis, the PPI fell 0.2 percent, while for the first three months of this year it rose 3.7 percent from a year ago.

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Stock moves, currencies, China inflation data

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Reflections of pedestrians on an electronics stock indicator at the window of a securities company in Tokyo, Japan.

Toshifumi Kitamura | AFP | Getty Images

SINGAPORE — Asia-Pacific stocks fell in early Tuesday trade, following a sell-off in tech stocks that weighed down major U.S. indexes overnight.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 declined around 0.97% while the Topix moved 0.6% lower. South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.57%.

In Australia, the ASX 200 inched down 0.43%.

U.S. markets fell overnight as investors exited Big Tech stocks including Microsoft and Apple. The Nasdaq Composite suffered the largest loss, falling by 2.5%.

China’s inflation data for April will be on investors’ watchlist. Analysts polled by Reuters expect Chinese consumer prices rose 1% last month from a year ago, accelerating from 0.4% in March.

China is also expected to release results of its once-in-a-decade population census.

Elsewhere in the region, Southeast Asian countries Malaysia and the Philippines are scheduled to report first-quarter gross domestic product data.

Analysts in a Reuters poll expect Malaysia’s economy to shrink 2% in in the January-to-March quarter compared with a year ago and the Philippine economy to contract 3% in the same period.

Currencies and oil

In the foreign exchange market, the U.S. dollar was at 90.238 against a basket of its peers in early Asia trade.

The Japanese yen changed hands at 108.87 per dollar, while the Australian dollar strengthened around 0.11% against the greenback to $0.7838.

In oil markets, U.S. crude futures dipped 0.06% to $64.88 per barrel, while global benchmark Brent was down 0.1% to $68.25 per barrel.

CNBC’s Thomas Franck contributed to this report.

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Cathie Wood’s ARK Innovation ETF falls to new low for the year

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Cathie Wood’s flagship fund Ark Innovation hit its lowest point of the year on Monday amid further selling in innovation stocks.

Ark Innovation‘s 5% drop on Monday dragged the “disruptive innovation” ETF below its March low, a level that many investors are watching as a barometer for the larger tech sector.

Ark Innovation is now nearly 35% off its most recent high: $159.70 on Feb. 16.

Wood’s core ETF is now down more than 13% this month and more than 16% year to date.

Some of Ark Innovation’s top holdings took big hits on Monday as the Nasdaq Composite dropped more than 2.5%. Tesla fell 6.4% and Teladoc Health dropped 6.6%. Square and Roku fell 7.3% and 4.9%, respectively. DraftKings declined 6.4% and Zillow lost 5.1%.

Wood told CNBC on Friday that she loves the setup for her ETFs following the most recent sell-off in technology stocks. She said she envisions her strategies posting a compound annual rate of return of 25% to 30%.

“I love this setup,” Wood said Friday on CNBC’s “Closing Bell.” “The worst thing that could have happened to us is to have the market narrowly focus on just our ilk of stock — the innovation space.”

However, more than $1.1 billion of fund flows have left Ark Innovation this month. Ark Invest — including its five core ETFs — has lost about nearly $2 billion in investor dollars in May, according to FactSet.

200-day moving average long gone

Ark Innovation broke below its 200-day moving average, a key technical level watched by traders that is essentially the average of the past 200 closing prices.

“The issue with ARKK and other speculative growth ETFs is that short-term rallies have been aggressively faded for three months now,” Frank Cappelleri, Instinet executive director, told CNBC. “The ETF will have to do more than just bounce for a few days to convince traders otherwise.”

“In other words, simply getting back above the 200-day moving average won’t mean much without upside follow through. That continues to be the biggest concern,” Cappelleri added.

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Ford names new F-150 electric pickup Lightning with plans to reveal it May 19

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Ford’s all-electric F-150 will be called Lightning. The all-new F-150 Lightning will be revealed May 19 at Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn and livestreamed.

Ford

DETROIT – Ford Motor’s upcoming all-electric F-150 pickup truck will be called Lightning, a name used by the automaker for street performance trucks in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Ford released the name Monday along with plans to unveil the truck at 9:30 p.m. EDT on May 19. The reveal will take place at the company’s world headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan. It will be broadcast across social media platforms as well as 18 high-profile public spaces such as Times Square in New York City and Las Vegas Boulevard, the company said.

All-electric pickups are expected to be important growth areas for automakers in the coming years, particularly for commercial business to rental fleets, companies and governments. Ford has promised its pickup will be a true work truck in an attempt to differentiate it from other competitors such as the Tesla Cybertruck or GMC Hummer EV.

Ford CEO Jim Farley gave a nod to Tesla as well as Toyota Motor for their contributions to electrification in a press release on Monday announcing the company’s plans.

“Every so often, a new vehicle comes along that disrupts the status quo and changes the game … Model T, Mustang, Prius, Model 3. Now comes the F-150 Lightning,” Farley said in a statement. “America’s favorite vehicle for nearly half a century is going digital and fully electric.”

Farley said the F-150 Lightning will be able to “power your home during an outage; it’s even quicker than the original F-150 Lightning performance truck; and it will constantly improve through over-the-air updates.”

Production of the pickup is scheduled to begin next spring at Ford’s Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Michigan, Ford said. It’s expected to arrive in dealerships by mid-2022.

The F-150 Lightning is due out months after other electric pickups such as the GMC Hummer EV, Tesla Cybertruck and start-ups such as Rivian and, potentially, Lordstown Motors. All of the vehicles aside from Lordstown’s Endurance pickup, which is targeted at fleet customers rather than individual consumers, are expected to be “lifestyle” vehicles rather than work trucks. General Motors also has confirmed plans for an electric Chevrolet pickup that’s expected to be focused more on traditional truck customers than lifestyle buyers.

Correction: Ford used the Lightning name for street performance trucks in the 1990s and early 2000s. A previous version of this article misstated when it was last used.

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