High-flying Hong Kong may kick the Wall Street masses

Stock futures are not happy this morning, post-FOMC minutes and a not-so-thrilling kickoff to earnings season from Alcoa.

Some are talking about that split among Fed members spooking markets. What we could see, starting with futures, is a reversal of yesterday’s small gains — which weren’t really deserved anyway, says Oanda’s Craig Erlam.

M&A aside, it’s hard for this market to get super-motivated as investors ready for a white-knuckle earnings ride and continue to Fed-guess. But if it’s thrills you are seeking, then come on down to Hong Kong, where one newspaper front-page headline screamed ‘Go! Buy Hong Kong Stocks!’ (h/t “@gregorhunter) today. And investors did just that.

Thursday delivered a sixth day of gains for a wild Hong Kong market that soared 6.4% at one point. That leap came a day after Chinese investors used their entire daily quota for purchases in an official cross-border investment plan, launched a few months ago. And two weeks ago, Beijing started to let mutual funds buy shares in Hong Kong via a new trading link. It’s been all go.

So what? We all know Asian markets can be wild and woolly, but plenty of observers are starting to get freaked out. Our call of the day talks about potential collateral damage. Our chart of the day shows just what’s been going on the Hang Seng Index, and if you’re invested in any of those China-related ETFs, then you’d be wise to be paying a little attention to what’s going on right now.

Buried in a 38-page largely over-my-head letter to shareholders last night, J.P. Morgan’s Jamie Dimon waxed on about the next possible financial crisis. He said any number of things could trigger that, such as rumbles from Asia. “While the past crisis had different roots, they generally had a strong effect across financial markets.”

Or maybe it’s nothing, that China stuff.

Market Watch

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Craig Erlam

Craig Erlam

Senior Currency Analyst at OANDA
Based in London, England, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a Market Analyst. With more than five years' experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while conducting macroeconomic commentary. He has been published by The Financial Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Telegraph, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Sky News, Bloomberg, CNBC and BBC. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and he is recognized as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.