Shanghai restrictions weigh on Asian equities
The moody range-trading that has typified US equity markets in June continued overnight as Wall Street decided that inflation was a concern, after all, sending equity markets lower. The S&P 500 fell by 1.08%, the Nasdaq finished 0.73% lower, while the Dow Jones lost 0.82%. Futures on all three remain negative today, easing by around 0.15%.
Asian markets were never likely to have a good start after a weaker New York session, but the lockdown of the Minhang district of Shanghai has delivered a much-needed wake-up call around the reality of China’s covid-zero policy to regional markets. Asia has started today in the red on renewed China slowdown fears, ignoring mighty Chinese trade numbers. The only exceptions are Japan, where a plummeting yen has lifted the Nikkei 225 0.30% higher, and Jakarta, where the palm oil export scheme has lifted the JCI 0.50% higher.
Elsewhere, it is a sea of red today. South Korea’s Kospi has fallen by 0.60%, Mainland China’s Shanghai Composite eased by 0.45%, with the CSI 300 losing 0.55%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has also fallen by 0.50%, with the positive sentiment of the overnight China tech ADR rally evaporating in a sea of mass testing stations.
Regionally, Singapore has fallen by 0.50%, with Taipei losing 0.45%, and Kuala Lumpur falling by 0.70% as the government faces ever-higher fuel subsidy bills with oil’s rally. An ironic outcome for an oil-producing nation. Bangkok has managed a 0.20% gain today, with Manila tumbling by 0.90%. Australian markets aren’t liking the Shanghai news either, the All Ordinaries have lost 0.95%, while the ASX 200 has fallen by 0.90%.
With the ECB meeting today, and nerves around China’s covid-zero policy and its impact on growth, along with a surge in oil prices overnight, Europe is unlikely to have any reason to click the buy button this afternoon. That may all change post the ECB is the central bank is more dovish than expected. Conversely, if the ECB delivers a hawkish surprise, European equities are likely to remain pressured.
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