Asian equity markets feeling the pressure
Asian equity markets are under pressure on several fronts today, sending the region’s bourses lower across the board. Lower US index futures, China’s big-tech clampdown, inflation, Covid-19 and vaccination delays regionally, geopolitics; investors can choose their poison. Chinese equities are lower after the US warned China over Taiwan today, with China continuing to play games with fleets of ships over the Spratly Islands.
On Friday, US stocks shrugged off the US PPI data, with the S&P 500 rose 0.77%, the Nasdaq climbing was 0.51%, and the Dow Jones leaping by 0.89%. In Asia today, though, the futures on all three have fallen by 0.30%, tempering even Wall Street’s eternal optimism.
The Nikkei 225 has fallen 0.55%, with the Kospi today’s outperformer, rising a miserly 0.10%. In China, the Shanghai Composite has declined 0.80%. Further clampdowns on China technology companies have sent the CSI 300 tumbling by 1.85%, with the Hang Seng falling 1.15%. If the sell-off accelerates this afternoon, it will be interesting to see if China’s “national team” emerges to ‘stabilise’ markets.
Elsewhere, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Taipei are 0.45%, while Jakarta and Manila are unchanged. Bangkok has fallen 1.30% as Covid-19 cases materially increase in Thailand, and the Nifty 50 futures are 1.70% lower, pointing to a torrid start for India’s markets this afternoon.
Australia will release key employment data on Thursday, which should retreat from last month’s blowout of 89,000 jobs added but still come in around 40,000, although it is a volatile series. Australia may run into a few headwinds this week, though, as the government basically threw their vaccination schedule for 2021 into the rubbish bin this morning due to AstraZeneca production and import issues, as well as age-related restrictions for its use. The ASX is down 0.30% and the All Ordinaries by 0.37%.
European and UK markets are likely to open lower, not being immune to the negativity sweeping Asian markets and US index futures.
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