NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Chinese second-quarter growth announced Monday was at the top of an estimated range as the economy expanded by 7.5% versus an estimated range of 7-7.5%.
Although it was the slowest growth in nine quarters, China reaffirms that global demand is not at a complete standstill and shows that developed economies, like the ones in Europe, may have hit a bottom.
The first chart below is of
iShares China Large-Cap
Vanguard Total World Stock Index
. This pair represents Chinese equities' relative strength versus a basket of world equities.
Chinese exports had missed expectations in past weeks, leading many to believe that Chinese growth numbers would reside at the bottom end of projections, but that didn't happen. Although growth in China has been on a downward trend over the past few years, it is still one of the strongest growth rates in the world.
Strong growth signals that global demand may still be intact. Even if there are contraction fears across the globe, the lack of a hard landing in China, to date, shows that we are still on a gradual path toward an economic recovery.
The relative strength of equities continues to underperform, although there looks to be a near-term bottom in the making. China's ability to outperform expectations may set riskier assets across the globe on an intermediate uptrend, similar to the one from mid-April to mid-May.
The next chart is of
GlobalX Copper Mines ETF
Guggenheim S&P 500 Equal Weight
Copper miners have followed the relative downtrend of China, underperforming as base metals have fallen out of favor. Copper is an indicator of global economic health, and its underperformance shows that financial markets aren't in the clear yet.
The base metal sector as a whole has fallen alongside China and has kept inflation subdued. A relative bottom doesn't look to be present yet in the price action, but Chinese economic strength should be a catalyst for correction, if not a trend reversal.
The last chart is of
WisdomTree Emerging Currency
CurrencyShares Swiss Franc Trust
A stronger U.S. dollar and a weaker commodities market have pressured emerging-market currencies for the better part of this year. As an end to quantitative easing in the U.S. came into sight in mid-May, the dollar shot higher and emerging-market assets spiraled downward.
Strong Chinese data and calming statements from the People's Bank of China have helped this pair set up a solid bottom of support.
The price action is trending upward versus safe-haven currencies, which is positive for its true overall strength. If China can continue to show strength and investors feel safe about parking assets in emerging economies, this pair should continue to push higher.
At the time of publication the author had no position in any of the stocks mentioned.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.