Asia equities mixed
US equities closed lower on Friday as heightened Ukraine tensions weighed on sentiment, complicated by a long weekend with the US closed for President’s Day today. The S&P 500 fell by 0.72%, the Nasdaq by 1.23%, and the Dow Jones by 0.68%. US yields fell across the curve hinting that US investors preferred safety over risk into the long weekend.
Although it is a US holiday today, the futures markets are open in Asia, and US indexes have jumped into positive territory after the US and Russia agreed in principle to a French-brokered summit over the Ukraine. S&P futures are 0.58% higher with Nasdaq and Dow futures rising 0.62% and 0.56% respectively.
Asia has not shared the same positivity though, concentrating on a fragile New York close on Friday and China nerves, with Bloomberg running another excellent story on a wall of China property bond payment and restructuring deadlines this week, and China leaving its one and five-year Loan Prime Rates unchanged today. Property sector nerves will weigh on China stocks this week.
It is a mixed day in Asia with the Nikkei 225 down 0.65%, and the Kospi 0.15% lower. China’s Shanghai Composite is 1.0% lower with the CSI 300 retreating 0.75% and Hong Kong falling by 0.85%. Singapore has edged 0.15% higher while Taipei is unchanged. Australia has seen no peace dividend from the full reopening of its borders today. The All Ordinaries has climbed 0.05% on M&A headlines, but the ASX 200 has closed lower by 1.0%.
European markets will likely seize on US/Russia summit hopes to lift equities to a positive start, however, they will remain at the mercy of headline ping pong around the situation.
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