Asian markets follow Wall Street with losses
Wall Street finished the week on a sour note, with all three major indices closing lower in what was when all said and done, a bull-market correction in a slow week. We could be in for much the same this week ahead of a mouth-watering last week of the month and quarter. The S&P 500 closed 0.77% lower, as did the Dow Jones, while the Nasdaq retreated by 0.87% after Apple lost an App Store case. In the spirit of noisy range-trading, futures on all three have jumped in Asia on no news at all, defying the negativity in Asia. S&P 500 and Dow futures are 0.30% higher, with Nasdaq futures up 0.12%.
The Nikkei 225 has unwound early losses in Asia and is now down just 0.05% as stimulus hopes and bullish retail investor momentum rule the roost. Similarly, the Kospi is now down just 0.05%. Typhoons and the Ant Financial break-up story are weighing on China markets today, notably the Hang Seng where Ali Baba is listed. The Hang Seng has plunged 1.75%, while the Shanghai Composite is flat, and the CSI 300 is 0.40% lower.
Singapore has slumped by 0.85%, with Taipei 0.25% lower and Kuala Lumpur falling 0.70%, despite the government and opposition tentatively agreeing on party reform measures over the weekend. Bangkok is unchanged, with Jakarta falling 0.55% and Manila lower by 0.15%.
Australian markets are bucking the trend as M&A fever saw a higher offer for an attempted takeover of Sydney Airport today. The ASX 200 and All Ordinaries are 0.25% higher.
With a lack of strong directional drivers, Hong Kong aside, the rally in US index futures has taken the edge of early losses in Asia. Asian markets ex-Hong Kong are likely to continue to claw back earlier losses as nerves subside. I expect Europe to open flat this afternoon.
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