Asian equities mostly higher

Higher US yields boost Asia

Friday’s New York session was an odd one, with banks under pressure as the Federal Reserve signalled it would let the Supplementary Leverage Ratio (SLR) lapse at the end of the month. Price action was mixed as US 30-year yields eased somewhat, with Friday’s quadruple “witching hour” of futures and options expiries pushing volumes far higher than usual but leading to distorted price action. The S&P 500 finished just 0.06% lower, but the Nasdaq rose 0.76%, and the Dow Jones fell 0.71%.

S&P 500 and Dow Jones futures have headed South in Asia, by Nasdaq futures are slightly higher, in a rerun of Friday. Asia has ignored that for the most part and has started the week modestly higher, perhaps in part because US 10-year bond futures have rallied today.

The exception is the Nikkei 225, which has plummeted by 2.0% today as investors digest the implications of the BOJ’s intention to cease buying Nikkei 225 related ETF’s, concentrating on TOPIX-linked ones. The Nikkei 225 carved through its 5-month support line at 30,100.00 on Friday and has moved deeper into correction territory today, targeting its 100-day moving average at 27.750.00.

Elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific, though, the picture is positive if modestly so in a no news is good news sort of way. Mainland China’s CSI 300 is 0.35% higher, with the Shanghai Composite 0.20% higher. Today’s small rally still leaves the CSI 300 precariously perched on its multi-month support line. At the same time, the Shanghai Composite crushed the same on the 8th of March and remains ensconced in downside correction territory. The Hang Seng is just 0.25% lower in directionless trading, as China’s tech clampdown weighs on Hong Kong-listed giants.

The Kospi is flat, with Singapore and Taiwan are 0.35% higher, with Manila unchanged and Kuala Lumpur 0.15% lower. News that a trans-Tasman travel bubble is back on both governments’ agenda and a strong finish by the Nasdaq has lifted Australian markets. The ASX 200 climbing 0.75%, and the All Ordinaries rising 0.70%.

Overall, the picture for Asia is one of marking time while awaiting fresh inputs, likely to be delivered by the US and Europe. European and UK equities may have a more challenging time this afternoon, with the UK-Europe vaccine spat, and Eurozone lockdowns weighing on markets.

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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