US markets edge higher, Asia a mixed bag
Wall Street reversed intraday losses to post some modest gains overnight, with markets seemingly moving past the Brainard shock on Wednesday. With oil prices easing after the details of the IEA reserve release came out, Wall Street staged a modest relief rally. The S&P 500 finished 0.43% higher, the Nasdaq closed 0.06% higher, with the Dow Jones finishing 0.25% higher. Futures on all three indexes are almost unchanged in Asian trading.
That has sparked a relief rally in parts of Asia, although not with the North Asian giants of Japan, China, and South Korea. The Nikkei 225 is flat for the day, with the Kospi down 0.10%. The Shanghai Composite is also down 0.10 dollars with the CSI 200 unchanged, and Hong Kong down 0.40%. It seems that a flat Nasdaq close and persistent virus nerves around Shanghai are limiting gains on all three.
In regional markets, the picture is more positive, helped by Brent crude falling to USD 100.00 a barrel. Singapore is retreating as stories run highlighting softening property markets across Asia-Pacific. The big banks have led Singapore 0.75% lower. However, Kuala Lumpur has risen by 0.25%, Jakarta by 0.75%, and Taipei by 0.40%. Bangkok is just 0.20% lower, with Manila climbing 1.0% after its trade deficit narrowed. Australian markets are following Wall Streets’ lead and ending the week on a positive note. The ASX 200 and All Ordinaries climbing by 0.50%.
European markets endured another torrid session overnight. But if Brent continues to trade around USD 100 or lower today, that could be enough to spark a rally into the end of the week, although I expect weekend risk will limit gains.
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