Asia follows Wall Street higher
Asia-Pacific equities markets are posting solid if unremarkable gains across the region today. Sino geopolitical tensions are being shoved aside as Asia concentrates on the global recovery play, which continues from Wall Street overnight.
Yesterday, Wall Street finished higher, with the Dow Jones making yet another record close. The S&P 500 rose 0.82%, with the Nasdaq edging 0.37% higher and the Dow Jones leaping 0.92%. In Asia, index futures on all three have moved slightly higher, led by Nasdaq futures, up 0.25%.
Improving US jobless claims, various Fed speakers steadying the dovish ship, anticipated robust US labour market data and impressive China numbers this morning, give Asia every reason to be positive today. The Nikkei 225 is 0.10% higher, tempered by Covid-19 concerns. The Kospi is 0.75% higher, China’s Shanghai Composite is 0.40% higher, and the CSI 300 is 0.15% higher. Hong Kong has climbed 0.55%.
Singapore has rallied 0.75%, with the tech-heavy Taiex rallying by 1.0%. Kuala Lumpur is 0.35% higher, with Jakarta up 0.10%. Australian markets have also drifted higher as the commodity rally continues. The ASX 200 and All Ordinaries are rising by 0.30%.
Bullish exuberance is being tempered by the Non-Farm Payroll event risk later this evening. Still, there is no reason why equities, either in Asia or Europe, should retreat before tonight’s main event with expectations so high.
What should we expect from tonight’s Non-Farm Payrolls? Depending on who you speak to, NFP will come in at between 1.0 million and 1.30 million jobs added. That is notably higher than the 900,000 market consensus from Monday morning. My concern is that it is starting to look like a very crowded trade, which always makes me nervous. Especially that despite the noise this week, most markets have just range traded.
The risks shift, I suspect, to a print of 900,000 or less, which will surprise markets. I caveat this by saying that that is not my base case; I am in the 1.0 million club myself.
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