Asian equities are very mixed today

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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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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