Another mixed day for Asian equities.

Wall Street had a mixed session, torn between delta concerns and Fed tapering following a jump in the JOLTS job opening above 10 million and hawkish comments from Fed officials. In the end, Wall Street chose delta hedging, rotating modestly out of growth and back to their technology happy place. The S&P 500 eased 0.09%, the Nasdaq edged 0.16% higher, while the Down Jones fell by 0.31%. In Asia, US futures have continued to sag, all three indices down by around 0.15%.

With no firm direction from New York, Asian markets have gone their own way. The Nikkei 225 is just 0.10% higher, while an unimpressive IPO debut by Krafton has dragged the Kospi down 0.65%. Regulatory risk and further cases of the delta-variant in Mainland China continues to unnerve markets there. The Shanghai Composite is 0.15% lower, but the CSI 300 has fallen by 0.40%. Hong Kong has managed to eke out a modest 0.15% gain.

Reopening day (for those vaccinated) has lifted Singapore by 0.55% as markets price in a light at the end of the tunnel. Malaysia is on holiday while Taipei has fallen by 0.80% on China concerns, Manilla has retreated 0.40%, and Jakarta is down 0.90%. Bangkok has bucked the regional trend, rising 0.25%. Australian markets are trading sideways, with the ASX 200 and ALl Ordinaries edging 0.15% higher.

Except for Singapore, most of Asia appears to be virus watch and nervous about Fed tapering, with investors reducing exposures into the US CPI data tomorrow night. Europe is likely to follow the same cautious path and open slightly lower this afternoon. I anticipate equity markets continuing this pattern with a very light data calendar until the US CPI data. As previously stated, a higher than forecast US CPI print tomorrow will negatively impact Asian equities as the threat of divergence in monetary policy paths combine with delta worries.

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Jeffrey Halley

Jeffrey Halley

Senior Market Analyst, Asia Pacific, from 2016 to August 2022
With more than 30 years of FX experience – from spot/margin trading and NDFs through to currency options and futures – Jeffrey Halley was OANDA’s Senior Market Analyst for Asia Pacific, responsible for providing timely and relevant macro analysis covering a wide range of asset classes.

He has previously worked with leading institutions such as Saxo Capital Markets, DynexCorp Currency Portfolio Management, IG, IFX, Fimat Internationale Banque, HSBC and Barclays.

A highly sought-after analyst, Jeffrey has appeared on a wide range of global news channels including Bloomberg, BBC, Reuters, CNBC, MSN, Sky TV and Channel News Asia as well as in leading print publications such as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, among others.

He was born in New Zealand and holds an MBA from the Cass Business School.
Jeffrey Halley
Jeffrey Halley

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