US futures retreat in Asia

Robinhood restrictions irk investors

Robinhood dominated business news overnight as the online broker restricted trading in GameStop, AMC and other ‘viral’ stocks. The resulting price plunge had the media wailing that USD11 billion of value was wiped out in a single day; however, I would argue that there was never USD11 billion of value in the first place. The move was also fiercely criticized by small-time traders, and even politicians got involved in the financial fiasco. Congress member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat, tweeted that the move was unacceptable, complaining that Robinhood’s decision blocked retail investors from purchasing stock while hedge funds were freely able to trade the stock.

Wall Street rebounded overnight after US GDP and Initial Jobless Claims sprung no surprises. The S&P 500 rose 0.97%, the Nasdaq climbed 0.50%, and the Dow Jones jumped 0.99% with investors happy to buy the previous days dip. Momentum has faded in Asia though, with the futures on all three indexes retreating, notably the Nasdaq futures, which have fallen 0.65%.

That has led to a mixed day in Asia after the region tracked higher in early trading. The Nikkei 225 is 0.25% lower, with the Kospi falling 0.80%. In China, a 98 billion Yuan injection vis the repos by the PBOC has alleviated funding squeeze fears. That has lifted the Shanghai Composite 0.15% higher, and the CSI 300 0.10% higher. The Hang Seng has rallied by 0.55%, with IPO fever and mainland investors notable.

Singapore has risen by 0.45%, while Kuala Lumpur and Taipei have fallen by 0.25%, with Jakarta falling 0.75%. Australia’s All Ordinaries is up 0.40%, with the ASX 200 rising by 0.25%.

The retreat by the US index futures in aftermarket trading, has raised doubts among Asian investors about the longevity of the main session rally overnight. That has led regional markets to adopt a more cautionary stance into the end of the week, leading to flow-driven mixed performances.

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

Jeffrey Halley

Jeffrey Halley

Senior Market Analyst, Asia Pacific
With more than 30 years of FX experience – from spot/margin trading and NDFs through to currency options and futures – Jeffrey Halley is OANDA’s senior market analyst for Asia Pacific, responsible for providing timely and relevant macro analysis covering a wide range of asset classes. He has previously worked with leading institutions such as Saxo Capital Markets, DynexCorp Currency Portfolio Management, IG, IFX, Fimat Internationale Banque, HSBC and Barclays. A highly sought-after analyst, Jeffrey has appeared on a wide range of global news channels including Bloomberg, BBC, Reuters, CNBC, MSN, Sky TV, Channel News Asia as well as in leading print publications including the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, among others. He was born in New Zealand and holds an MBA from the Cass Business School.
Jeffrey Halley
Jeffrey Halley

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