Asian markets rise on hopes that China will ease lockdowns
The seeds of a general relief rally didn’t land on Wall Street equities overnight, which had a mixed session, likely because it was driven elsewhere by recession concerns. The S&P 500 fell by 0.39%, the Nasdaq fell by 1.20%, and the Dow Jones edged 0.12% higher. In Asia, hopes that the worst is past for the Shanghai lockdowns have prompted US futures to rise. Nasdaq futures have jumped by 0.65%, with S&P 500 futures climbing 0.35%, and Dow futures adding 0.25%.
Hopes that the Shanghai lockdowns will ease, along with the ensuing supply chain disruptions have been enough to lift Asian equities as well, which are staging a modest bounce in an otherwise quiet day. Japan’s Nikkei 225 has risen by 0.25%, with South Korea’s Kospi rallying by 0.84%. Taipei is also tracking the bounce by Nasdaq futures, climbing by 1.03%.
In China, the Shanghai Composite has added 0.30%, with the narrower Shanghai 50 rising by 1.07%, and the CSI 300 climbing by 0.88%. The speculative casino of the Hang Seng has leapt 2.03% higher, gaining an additional tailwind from China developers today.
In regional markets, Singapore has risen by 0.40%, Kuala Lumpur by 0.45%, and Jakarta by 0.75%. Bangkok has jumped 1.10% higher, with Manila adding 0.40%. Australian markets gains have been limited by the RBA minutes, which showed the policy committee considered a 0.40% increase before finally going with 0.25%. Nerves around more rate hikes have dampened enthusiasm to follow US futures higher today. The All Ordinaries has risen by 0.25%, with the ASX 200 adding 0.20%.
With Hungary still stalling an EU ban on Russian oil imports, European markets should have an excuse to open cautiously higher today. Robust Eurozone and employment data this evening could dampen any rally as it brings the prospect of ECB rate hikes back into view, possibly as soon as June.
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