TRADING DOWN: China's trade data in January showed the biggest drop since 2008. Exports fell 0.5 percent from a year earlier to $149.9 billion. Imports were down 15 percent at $122.7 billion. The politically sensitive global trade surplus tripled to $27.3 billion.
SURPRISINGLY SLOW: the import decline was sharper than expected, suggesting that even with the Lunar New Year holiday factored in, the world's second-largest economy is slowing markedly.
GLOBAL IMPACT: China is a major buyer of iron ore, oil and other commodities as well as industrial components. A downturn could affect suppliers like Australia, Brazil and South Africa.