Asian markets directionless after Powell testimony
Wall Street had an inconclusive session overnight with the major indexes closing barely changed after being sandwiched by Powell’s recession comments on one side and falling US yields on the other. The S&P 500 eased 0.13% lower, the Nasdaq slipped just 0.15%, while the Dow Jones was down just 0.18%. With a slow news day post-Powell, US index futures have continued their modest pullback. S&P 500 futures are 0.25% lower, Nasdaq futures are unchanged, and Dow futures are 0.25% lower.
With little to pick from the bones of the overnight session, Asian markets have gone their own way today. Japan’s Nikkei 225 is unchanged, but both South Korea and Taipei are sharply lower again and seem to be becoming a proxy in Asia for the health of the US economy, having a high beta to that region. The Kospi is down by 0.55%, while Taipei is sharply lower by 1.10%.
In mainland China, sentiment appears to have been boosted by hopes that Ant Financial will soon be given the regulatory all-clear, and President Xi reiterating his commitment to this year’s growth targets. That sees the Shanghai Composite and CSI 300 adding 0.55% today, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is 0.95% higher.
In regional markets, Singapore has gained 0.55%, while Kuala Lumpur is just 0.10% higher. Jakarta has retreated by 0.75% ahead of today’s BI policy meeting, with Manila losing 1.10% ahead of the BSP policy meeting. Bangkok is just 0.10% higher. Australian markets have booked modest gains after a steady Wall Street session. The All Ordinaries are 0.05% higher, while the ASX 200 has risen by 0.30%.
As expected, the music stopped for European equities overnight, which endured a torrid session. A lack of direction from the US and Asian markets is likely to spur a soft opening once again from Europe as its energy security, inflation and growth problems reassert themselves.
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