Asian markets mixed ahead of US nonfarm payrolls
Equities traded sideways overnight as US data balanced itself out and with bulls nervously on the sidelines after the rout of the past few days, and ahead of tonight’s US Non-Farm Payrolls. However, the buy-the-dip couldn’t contain its addiction anymore, especially with the news tickers remaining quiet. Overnight, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq finished just 0.10% lower, with the Dow Jones easing by 0.47%. Asia has seen futures on all three rise strongly initially, before easing back slightly. Nasdaq futures are 0.55% higher, with S&P 500 0.25% higher, and the Dow futures 0.15% higher.
The futures rally sparked an initial flurry higher in Japan, Australia and South Korea before retreating slightly. Asian markets are mostly higher to finish the week though, thanks to playing follow the leader (Wall Street). The Nikkei 225 is now in negative territory, down 0.40%, after the Japanese Finance Minister commented that FX stability is important. Markets are interpreting the comments as implying the government is displeased with the pace of the yen fall. South Korea’s Kospi, meanwhile, is 0.70% higher.
In China, markets are trading positively with a story circulating from REDD that policymakers will exclude debt accrued by property developers from buying up distressed assets from weaker developers, from their overall debt compliance ratios. That’s a mouthful but basically, it looks like State-Owned Enterprise (SOE) developers are going to get a juicy carrot in return for taking on the assets of weaker private developers. The Shanghai Composite and CSI 300 are 0.35% higher, while Hong Kong, home to the troubled listings of many developers, is up by 1.20%.
Across the region, Singapore and Jakarta have rallied by 0.60%, with Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok rising by 0.25%. Taipei and Manila are bucking the trend, down 1.0% and 1.20% respectively. Semiconductors are leading Taipei lower for some reason while soaring omicron positivity rates are weighing on Manila. Australian markets are in a buoyant mood, with the US futures rally greenlighting the buy-the-dip gnomes of Sydney to rush out of hiding. The ASX 200 and All Ordinaries have leapt an impressive 1.40% today.
I did mention yesterday that the bearish sentiment might only last until the New York session. I was off by about eight hours, but with a thin calendar ahead, European markets should open higher today as will New York. Only a very high Non-Farm Payroll print will spoil what should be a positive finish to the week tonight.
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