After March's collapse in headline retail sales, April was expected to be a bloodbath but it was much worse than expected with a 16.4% month-on-month collapse (the most ever), considerably worse than the 12% drop expected.
The control core group indicator cratered from 3.1% to -15.3% and the ex-autos indicator fell further to -17.2% from -4% previously. Disastrous numbers, indeed.
US stocks continued to decline as sentiment seems to be worsening again, with miserable data and Chinese-US diplomatic relations falling apart.
Earlier in the day, Reuters reported that the Commerce Department moved to block shipments of semiconductors to Huawei Technologies from global chipmakers.
Shortly after, the Global Times reported that "China is ready to take a series of countermeasures against a US plan to block shipments of semiconductors to Chinese telecom firm Huawei, including putting US companies on an "unreliable entity list," launching investigations and imposing restrictions on US companies such as Apple and suspending the purchase of Boeing airplanes