Asian equities off to a slow start

Markets exercising caution ahead of FOMC

Wall Street had a sedate day as it moved into wait-and-see mode ahead of the FOMC. Earnings weighed slightly on the Nasdaq, which finished 0.34% lower, but the S&P 500 and Dow Jones finished the day unchanged. Alphabet’s aftermarket rally appears to have shifted sentiments slightly, with Nasdaq and S&P futures rising modestly, which seems to have given Asia a slightly positive bias in early trade.

The Nikkei 225 has climbed 0.31% after the yen weakened markedly overnight, while the Kospi has retreated by 0.70%. Mainland China’s Shanghai Composite and CSI 300 have advanced 0.15%, with the Hang Seng also 0.15% higher.

Regionally, Singapore has crept 0.15% higher, while Taipei and Kuala Lumpur have retreated by 0.30%. Jakarta and Bangkok are unchanged, with Manila rising 0.60%.

Australian markets have rallied after weak inflation data left markets pricing a lower for much longer RBA, and with a weaker Australian dollar boosting exporters. The ASX 200 and All Ordinaries have climbed 0.40%.

Today’s mixed price action reflects pre-FOMC caution and a reshuffling of positions and risk exposure ahead of it. I expect that tone to dominate the session and early European trading where the data calendar is light today.

Apple and Facebook are the two heavyweights in the earnings ring this evening. Apple should surpass expectations boosted by their new iPhone demand. Facebook will also have sold an ocean of ads but may have cloudier future guidance after Apple’s no tracking IOS release, and ongoing litigation and regulatory threats.

Looking ahead, the tier-1 data releases continue apace post-FOMC, with US GDP and Initial Jobless Claims tomorrow, followed by Personal Income and Expenditure on Friday. Japan has Preliminary Industrial Production tomorrow, followed by the Jibun PMI Friday. Germany releases Unemployment tomorrow, and finally, China releases official Manufacturing and Non-Manufacturing PMIs on Friday. Markets will have plenty to get their teeth into post-FOMC, but today’s session will likely see sedate range-trading ahead of the meeting.

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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