Asian markets mixed at start of week

China weighs on Asian markets

It is a mixed day in Asia today as Wall Street limped into a cautious close on Friday. Jerome Powell’s comments on Friday that the time has come for a taper weighed on interest rate-sensitive technology stocks, already SNAP’ed earlier in the session. The S&P 500 closed down 0.11%, with the Nasdaq retreating by 0.82%, while the more cyclical Dow Jones rose by 0.21%. Futures on all three indexes have edged just 0.05% higher in Asia.

The Nasdaq performance is weighing on Tokyo with the Nikkei 225 slumping by 0.90% today, although the South Korean Kospi has moved 0.45% higher. In China, the rise in Covid-19 cases and the introduction of a property tax in parts of the mainland have offset Evergrande’s Friday coupon payment and bullish comments from the Chairman today. The Friday payment was made just before the buzzer and another payment is due this Friday. The Shanghai Composite is 0.38% higher, but the narrower Top 50 are down 0.32%. The CSI 300 and Hang Seng are unchanged, and it wouldn’t surprise if some ‘national team” “smoothing” was going on.

China concerns are limiting gains in regional markets with Singapore’s Straits Times down 0.05% with Taipei also unchanged. Kuala Lumpur is 0.15% higher as energy prices rise in Asia today, with Jakarta also edging 0.10% into the green. Bangkok has fallen 0.50% and Manila is down 0.75%. By contrast, the rise in energy and commodity prices, as well as a reopening in Melbourne on Friday, and a reopening of international borders in New South Wales are lifting sentiment down under. The ASX 200 is 0.30% higher, with the All Ordinaries up 0.40%.

The pre-market HSBC results are likely to dominate sentiment in early Europe. Facebook will be front and centre in investors’ minds today in both Europe and the US, and I expect a noisy range trading session ahead of the social network’s results.

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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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