Asia markets mixed after last week’s hefty losses

12-Mar-2019 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Asian markets were mixed Monday as bargain-buying from last week’s sharp losses was offset by a weak US jobs report and ongoing concerns about the global economy.

Investors ran for the hills Friday after the European Central Bank slashed its growth and inflation forecasts, the OECD cut its global estimates, and China announced a plunge in exports and imports.

Later that day the Labour Department said the US economy created just 20,000 jobs last month, a fraction of what was expected.

The readings from across the world knocked equity markets, which have enjoyed a stellar start to the year on hopes that China and the United States will resolve their trade war.

Shanghai ended almost two percent higher, while Hong Kong rose 0.7 percent and Tokyo closed up 0.5 percent. Seoul and Taipei were slightly stronger but Sydney, Singapore, Manila and Wellington suffered fresh losses.

“The almost forgotten US-China trade talks have been subsumed in a cacophony of data noise but remain the only game in town and will set the macroeconomic tone for the rest of (the first half of) 2019,” said OANDA senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley.

“Until then, traders and investors will have itchy trigger fingers across most asset classes.”

– Brexit back in focus –

Traders are keeping a close eye on developments in the trade talks, with conflicting comments from both sides on the progress.

China’s vice minister for commerce Wang Shouwen said Saturday that Beijing was upbeat, a day after Donald Trump on Friday said he remained optimistic but would not sign anything but a “very good deal”.

The two sides were thought to be readying for a Trump-Xi meeting at the end of March, but the US ambassador to China said Friday that they were not yet ready for a summit and deal signing.

The pound was unable to recover from last week’s losses with prime minister Theresa May struggling to get the necessary revisions to her Brexit agreement that would be passed by MPs.

“With no further concessions… likely from the EUand talks were described as being close to breaking downTheresa May is now unlikely to present the changes required to win and the most probable scenario is that parliament then moves to vote on whether or not to exit the union without a deal, on Wednesday,” said James Hughes, chief market analyst at AxiTrader.

However, he added: “That there will be a delay is currently the consensus expectation. How this will affect sterling pairs is anyone’s guess. Over the last few months, anything that points to either a delay or Brexit not happening at all has led to the upside in the pound.”

– Key figures at 0710 GMT –

TokyoNikkei 225: UP 0.5 percent at 21,125.09 (close)

Hong KongHang Seng: UP 0.7 percent at 28,430.89

ShanghaiComposite: UP 1.9 percent at 3,026.99 (close)

euro/dollar: UP at $1.1234 from $1.1233 at 2140 GMT on Friday

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 111.10 yen from 111.15 yen

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2979 from $1.3016

euro/pound: UP at 86.58 pence from 86.30 pence

OilWest Texas Intermediate: UP 27 cents at $56.34 per barrel

OilBrent Crude: UP 26 cents at $66.00 per barrel

New YorkDow: DOWN 0.1 percent at 25,450.24 (close)

LondonFTSE 100: DOWN 0.7 percent at 7,104.31 (close)–finance.html


Category: FinanceAsia

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