Asian equities are mixed

Asian markets directionless after FOMC minutes

Asian equities are mixed today after a non-descript session on Wall Street that provided no concrete direction for local markets. The S&P 500 rose just 0.15%, while the Nasdaq and Dow Jones closed almost unchanged. US index futures have risen this morning, but that has translated to an uneven performance across Asia.

The Nikkei 225 is 0.30% lower as Japanese authorities weigh widened Covid-19 restrictions. The Kospi has risen just 0.15%, while mainland China’s Shanghai Composite and CSI 300 have drifted 0.10% higher. A suitably dovish FOMC minutes report has boosted the Hang Seng by 0.80%, with cyclical sectors outperforming at the expense of tech giants.

Singapore has risen by 0.10%, with Taiwan climbing 0.20%, Kuala Lumpur increasing 0.30% and Jakarta by 0.25%. Australian markets lead the charge higher today, with rising base metal prices boosting the resource sector heavyweights in particular. That has seen the ASX 200 and All Ordinaries climb by 1.0% today, helped along by no hawkish surprises in the FOMC minutes.

Australia aside, Asian markets are very much in watching from the side-lines mode ahead of the Powell speech this evening. The refusal to get tugged along by the two-way noise on Wall Street this week is very much evident, reflecting perhaps lingering concerns about US bond yields as American data continues to surprise across the board to the upside.

United Kingdom equities may get a dose of AstraZeneca blues this afternoon after European and British medical agencies highlighted blood-clot risks from the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. The British recommendation is that alternative vaccines for Astra should be used, if possible, for those under 30 years old. This triggered sharp losses for the British pound and the UK stocks could well follow in the pound’s footsteps on Thursday.

Eurozone equity markets may also suffer, but not to the same extent as AstraZeneca vaccine alternatives start arriving in greater numbers this morning.

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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