The Week Ahead – Economic Data, Monetary Policy, and COVID-19 in Focus

On the Macro

It’s quieter week ahead on the economic calendar, with 51 stats in focus in the week ending 6th August. In the week prior, 71 stats had also been in focus.

For the Dollar:

From the private sector, ISM Manufacturing and Non-Manufacturing PMIs for July will be in focus.

Expect the Non-Manufacturing PMI due out on Wednesday to have the greatest impact.

On the labor market front, ADP nonfarm employment change and weekly jobless claims figures on Wednesday and Thursday will also influence.

Nonfarm payrolls at the end of the week, however, will be the key stat of the week.

In the week ending 30th July, the Dollar Spot Index fell by 0.79% to 92.174.

For the EUR:

It’s a busy week on the economic data front.

Private sector PMIs for Italy and Spain together with finalized numbers for France, Germany, and the Eurozone will influence.

Expect Italy and the Eurozone’s PMIs to be key in the week.

German and Eurozone retail sales figures will also influence, with consumption key to a sustainable economic recovery.

For the week, the EUR rose by 0.84% to $1.1870.

For the Pound:

It’s a relatively quiet week ahead on the economic calendar.

Finalized private sector PMIs for July are due out on Monday and Wednesday.

Expect any revisions to the services PMI to have a greater impact in the week.

Construction PMIs also due out, should have a muted impact, however.

While the finalized numbers will influence, the Bank of England monetary policy decision on Thursday will be the main event.

Last week, the IMF talked up the outlook for the British economy. It now rests in the hands of the BoE.

The Pound ended the week up by 1.13% to $1.3904.

For the Loonie:

It’s a busier week ahead on the economic calendar.

Trade data on Thursday and employment change figures on Friday will be the key numbers.

While trade figures will influence, expect the employment change figures to have a greater impact.

The Loonie ended the week up 0.71% to C$1.2475 against the U.S Dollar.

Out of Asia

For the Aussie Dollar:

Manufacturing sector data, building permits, retail sales, and trade data will be in focus.

Retail sales and trade data, due out on Wednesday and Thursday, will be the key stats of the week.

On the monetary policy front, however, the RBA monetary policy decision on Tuesday will be the main event.

The Aussie Dollar ended the week down by 0.30% to $0.7344.

For the Kiwi Dollar:

It’s a quiet week ahead. Mid-week, employment change figures will draw interest ahead of inflation expectation numbers on Friday.

With little else for the markets to consider in the week, expect both sets of numbers to provide direction. The markets are expecting a further pickup in inflationary pressures…

The Kiwi Dollar ended the week flat at $0.6974.

For the Japanese Yen:

Finalized private sector PMIs and Tokyo inflation figures will be in focus in the 1st half of the week.

Expect any revision to the PMIs to be of greater influence.

Late in the week, household spending figures will also draw interest.

The Japanese Yen rose by 0.75% to ¥109.720 against the U.S Dollar.

Out of China

It’s a busier day, with private sector PMIs to provide the markets with direction.

Following NBS numbers from the weekend, the market’s preferred Caixin manufacturing PMI will set the tone. Over the weekend, the NBS Manufacturing PMI fell from 50.9 to 50.4…

With service sector activity a greater component of the economy, Wednesday’s services PMI will also influence, however.

The Chinese Yuan ended the week up by 0.31% to CNY6.4614 against the U.S Dollar.

Geo-Politics

Russia and China continue to be the main areas of interest for the markets. News updates from the Middle East will also need continued monitoring…

Japan, South Korean Shares Pressured by Chinese Technology Crackdown, Renewed COVID-19 Concerns

The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes finished lower across the board on Friday, ending a mostly bearish week on a down note. The markets were rattled all week as a Chinese crackdown on its technology sector and rising cases of the Delta coronavirus variant raged against still-dovish monetary policy and mixed earnings from a range of companies.

Friday’s Cash Market Performance

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 Index settled at 27283.59, down 498.83 or -1.80%. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index finished at 25961.03, down 354.29 or -1.35% and South Korea’s KOSPI Index closed at 3202.32, down 40.33 or -1.24%.

China’s benchmark Shanghai Index settled at 3397.36, down 14.37 or -0.42% and in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 Index finished at 7392.60, down 24.80 or -0.33%.

Nikkei Ends at Over 6-Month Low on Virus Worries, Earnings Lag

Japan’s Nikkei stock average closed at its lowest since the start of the year on Friday as spiking COVID-19 cases, some earnings disappoints and a decline in U.S. stock futures dented investor sentiment.

The Nikkei’s 1.8% decline on Friday was its biggest decline since June 21 and the lowest close since January 6.

For the month, the Nikkei slumped 5.24%, its worst performance since the coronavirus-induced market meltdown in March last year, after recording an 11th straight decline on the final trading day of the month.

In COVID-related news, Japan’s government on Friday proposed extending the state of emergency through August 31 for Tokyo and some other prefectures, as COVID-19 cases spike to record highs.

“The earnings weren’t that bad, but in terms of the outlook, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of confidence,” which is weighing on stocks, said Masahiro Ichikawa, chief market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management.

“The market is wary that the Nikkei could break below 27,000.”

South Korea Stocks Post Worst Month Since March 2020 on Weak China Shares, Virus Woes

South Korean shares tumbled more than 1% on Friday, and posted its worst monthly decline in more than a year, weighed by continued worries about the Chinese government’s regulatory crackdown and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The KOSPI ended down 40.33 points, or 1.24%, at 3,302.32, its sharpest daily fall in more than two months. The index ended the month down 2.86%, its sharpest monthly decline since March last year, and snapped an eight month winning streak.

In economic news, Friday’s data showed South Korea’s factory output in June rebounded from May on a boost in semiconductor and car production.

In COVID-related news, South Korea reported 1,710 new cases for Thursday, still near the record infections marked this week, even after the country imposed the toughest distancing measures in the metropolitan Seoul area and some neighboring cities.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

The Weekly Wrap – A Dovish FED and Weak Stats Left the Greenback in the Red

The Stats

It was a busy week on the economic calendar, in the week ending 30th July.

A total of 71 stats were monitored, which was up from 33 stats in the week prior.

Of the 71 stats, 37 came in ahead forecasts, with 30 economic indicators coming up short of forecasts. There were 4 stats that were in line with forecasts in the week.

Looking at the numbers, 42 of the stats reflected an upward trend from previous figures. Of the remaining 29 stats, 27 reflected a deterioration from previous.

For the Greenback, disappointing economic data and a dovish FED left the Dollar in the red. The Dollar Spot Index fell by 0.79% to 92.174. In the previous week, the Dollar had risen by 0.24% to 92.906.

Out of the U.S

Consumer sentiment and durable goods orders drew attention early in the week.

In June, durable goods orders ex transportation rose by 0.3%, following a 0.5% increase in May.

More significantly was a pickup in consumer confidence in July. The CB Consumer Confidence Index rose from 128.9 to 129.1. Economists had forecast a decline to 126.0.

On Thursday, jobless claims and 2nd quarter GDP numbers were in focus. The stats were skewed to the negative, however.

In the 2nd quarter, the U.S economy grew by 6.5%. This fell well short of a forecasted growth of 8.5%.

Jobless claims also fell short of expectations, with initial jobless claims falling from 424k to 400k. Economists had forecast a decline to 370k.

At the end of the week, personal spending and inflation figures came in ahead of forecasts, however.

Personal spending rose by 1.0% in June, with the annual rate of inflation seeing a pickup from 3.4% to 3.5%.

While the stats were material, the FED monetary policy and press conference were the main events of the week.

In line with market expectations, the FED left policy unchanged. The FED Chair also looked to assure the markets that there would be no near-term moves, the guidance considered dovish.

Out of the UK

It was a particularly quiet week. There were no major stats for the markets to consider in the week.

The lack of stats left the Pound in the hands of IMF economic growth forecasts, which delivered Pound support.

In the week, the Pound rose by 1.13% to end the week at $1.3904. In the week prior, the Pound had fallen by 0.14% to $1.3748.

The FTSE100 ended the week up by 0.07%, following a 0.28% gain from the previous week.

Out of the Eurozone

Through much of the week, the German economy was in focus.

Business and consumer sentiment figures delivered mixed results. While business sentiment waned in July, consumer confidence remained unchanged, in spite of the reopening of economies.

Unemployment figures from Germany were upbeat. The unemployment fell from 5.9% to 5.7% in July.

Inflationary pressures continued to surge, however, with Germany’s annual rate of inflation accelerating in July to 3.8%.

At the end of the week, 1st estimate GDP numbers and prelim inflation figures were the key stats of the week.

Quarter-on-quarter, the French economy grew by 0.9% versus a forecasted 0.7% in the 2nd quarter.

Germany saw growth of 1.5%, falling short of a forecasted 1.9%. In the 1st quarter, the economy had contracted by 2.1%.

For the Eurozone, the economy grew by 2.0%, coming in ahead of a forecasted 1.5%. The economy had contracted by 0.3% in the previous quarter.

Inflation also ticked up, aligned with member state numbers. According to prelim figures, the Eurozone’s annual rate of inflation accelerated from 1.9% to 2.2% in July, rising above the ECB’s 2% target.

For the week, the EUR rose by 0.84% to $1.1870. In the week prior, the EUR had fallen by 0.30% to $1.1771.

The DAX30 fell by 0.67%, while the CAC40 and the EuroStoxx600 ended the week up by 0.67% and by 0.05% respectively.

For the Loonie

It was a relatively quiet week on the economic data front.

Inflation and GDP numbers were the key stats of the week.

In June, the annual rate of inflation softened from 2.8% to 2.7%, bucking the trend seen across key economies.

The Canadian economy also continued to struggle in May, with the economy contracting by 0.3%. The economy had contracted by 0.5% in April.

In the week ending 30th July, the Loonie rose by 0.71% to C$1.2475. In the week prior, the Loonie had risen by 0.39% to C$1.2564.

Elsewhere

It was a mixed week for the Aussie Dollar and the Kiwi Dollar.

While the Aussie Dollar fell by 0.30% to $0.7344, the Kiwi Dollar ended the week flat at $0.6974.

For the Aussie Dollar

Inflation was the main area of focus. The stats were mixed, however, pegging the Aussie Dollar back.

In the 2nd quarter, the annual rate of inflation surged from 1.1% to 3.8%. The trimmed mean rate of inflation picked up from 1.1% to 1.6%, however.

Wholesale inflation also saw a pickup but at a softer pace than anticipated.

Australia’s annual wholesale rate of inflation ticked up from 0.2% to 2.2%. Economists had forecast a rate of 3.5%.

For the Kiwi Dollar

It was a busier week, with trade and consumer and business confidence in focus.

Trade data disappointed, with the trade surplus narrowing from NZ$498m to NZ$261m in June. The narrowing stemmed from a more marked increase in imports, however, rather than a fall exports, which limited the damage.

Business and consumer confidence figures were also skewed to the negative. The ANZ Business Confidence Index fell from -0.60 to -3.80, with the ANZ Consumer Confidence Index falling from 114 to 113.1.

The week numbers were not enough to sink the Kiwi.

For the Japanese Yen

It was another relatively busy week.

Early in the week, private sector PMIs were in focus. Later in the week industrial production and retail sales also drew attention on Friday.

While prelim private sector PMIs softened slightly in July, industrial production and retail sales impressed.

Industrial production jumped by 6.2% in June, reversing a 6.5% slide from May. More significantly, retail sales increased by 3.1%, reversing a 0.4% decline from May.

The Japanese Yen rose by 0.75% to ¥109.72 against the U.S Dollar. In the week prior, the Yen had fallen by 0.44% to ¥110.550.

Out of China

It was a quiet week on the economic data front. There were no major stats from China for the markets to consider.

In the week ending 30th July, the Chinese Yuan rose by 0.31% to CNY6.4614. In the week prior, the Yuan had ended the week down by 0.03% to CNY6.4813.

The CSI300 and the Hang Seng ended the week down by 4.98% and by 5.46% respectively.

Asia-Pacific Markets Called Higher on Opening as Investors Hope to Ride Wall Street’s Bullish Wave

A strong performance on Wall Street on Thursday and a rebound in Hong Kong the previous session following a steep plunge earlier in the week is expected to lead to stronger openings in the Asia-Pacific region on Friday.

In the U.S., the major stock indexes rose to record levels as investors shrugged off economic data pointing toward slower-than-expected growth. Investors also showed a delayed reaction to dovish news from the Federal Reserve the previous session.

Many investors were relieved that the Federal Reserve signaled no imminent plans for dialing back asset purchases. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell cautioned that although the economy is making progress towards its goals, it has a ways to go before the central bank would actually adjust its easy policies.

In economic news, U.S. second-quarter gross domestic product accelerated 6.5% on an annualized basis, considerably less than the 8.4% Dow Jones estimate.

Meanwhile, a separate data point showed that 400,000 people filed initial claims for unemployment benefits for the week ended July 24. That level is nearly double the pre-pandemic norm and above a Dow Jones estimate of 385,000.

Asia-Pacific Investors Hoping to Feed Off Wall Street’s Gains

Asia-Pacific investors are hoping to build on gains from Thursday fueled by a rebound in Hong Kong from a two-day slump earlier in the week and after the U.S. Federal Reserve left its benchmark interest rate near zero.

On Thursday, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped 3.3% to close at 26,315.32. The index had dived more than 8% over two days early this week.

Meanwhile, Chinese tech stocks in Hong Kong, which were hit hard by the market rout earlier in the week, soared. Shares of Tencent jumped 10.02% while Alibaba gained 7.7% and Meituan climbed 9.49%. The Hang Seng Tech Index soared 8% to 6,958.77.

Helping to ease concerns in the region was the news that China’s securities regulators told brokerages late Wednesday that the country will allow Chinese firms to go public in the U.S. as long as they meet listing requirements, a source familiar with the matter told CNBC.

Traders should pay particular attention to the Australian stock market. Prices should firm because of strength in the energy and gold sectors due to strong gains on Thursday. Crude oil futures settled 1.41% higher. Gold futures posted a 1.54% gain.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Asia-Pacific Shares Called Mixed to Lower on Opening; Investors Hoping for US Tech Stock Bailout

The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes are called lower on Wednesday, following Wall Street’s weaker lead as the rout on Hong Kong and China tech stocks is expected to resume. Conditions could change ahead of the openings, however, if the U.S. markets can get back on track after key technology companies report their latest quarterly data after the U.S. close.

Shares in the Asia-Pacific region were mixed on Tuesday as the sell-off of major Chinese tech stocks in Hong Kong continued following Monday’s tumble. The broader Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong briefly fell more than 5% in Tuesday afternoon trading (local time) before paring some of those losses, eventually closing 4.22% lower at 25,086.43.

The Hang Seng Index is off more than 8% in just two days of trading this week. On Monday, it was also hit hard, falling more than 4% on the back of regulatory fears surrounding China’s technology and private education sector.

Wall Street Could Fuel Early Session Weakness in Asia-Pacific Region

U.S. stocks fell for the first time in six days on Tuesday ahead of quarterly earnings reports from several megacap technology companies. The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average decline 170 points. The benchmark S&P 500 Index fell 0.8%, led by weakness in consumer, technology and energy sectors. The NASDAQ Composite retreated 1.6%. The drop in the major averages from their respective records reached on Monday could bring an end to their five-session winning streaks.

Of concern for Asia-Pacific traders will be the U.S. market’s reaction after the closing bell in New York. Second-quarter earnings season will kick into high-gear with Google-parent Alphabet, Microsoft and Apple set to report after the bell on Tuesday. The trio of tech heavyweights is down about 1% each ahead of their numbers.

Fedwatch Continues

Investors are awaiting the Federal Reserve’s update on its monetary policy as the central bank’s two-day meeting began. The Federal Open Market Committee will release a statement when the meeting concludes Wednesday, followed by Chairman Jerome Powell’s news conference.

Since the Fed will make its announcements at 18:00 Wednesday, Asia-Pacific traders won’t have a chance to react to the news until Thursday’s opening.

Nikkei Closes Below 28,000 Level for Second Day

Japanese equities rose on Tuesday, tracking overnight gains on Wall Street as investors cheered upbeat corporate earnings, but the benchmark Nikkei 225 failed to close above the 28,000 key psychological level for a second straight session.

Like Monday, the Nikkei briefly traded above that level but pared gains before the close amid caution ahead of this week’s Federal Reserve policy meeting and a pick-up in both the U.S. and Japanese earnings seasons.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Asia-Pacific Shares Mostly Lower; Hong Kong Down Over 4%; Japan Bucks Trend with Modest Gain

The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes are trading mixed but mostly lower with Japanese stocks bucking the overall trend as investors returned following holidays on Thursday and Friday.

One of the catalysts behind the selling pressure was tensions between Washington and Beijing as the two economic powerhouses kicked off high-level meetings. Another reason for the shift in sentiment was heightened regulator pressure from the government on Chinese tech and education stocks. Additionally, investors continued to monitor the COVID situation in Asia, particularly its potential influence on the pace of the economic recovery.

Cash Market Performance

In the cash market on Monday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index settled at 27833.29, up 285.29 or +1.04%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index finished at 26192.32, down 1129.66 or -4.13% and South Korean’s KOSPI Index closed at 3224.95, down 29.47 or -0.91%.

In China, the benchmark Shanghai Index settled at 3467.44, down 82.96 or -2.34% and in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 Index finished at 7394.30, down -0.10 or 0.00%.

China Shares Tumble on Regulatory Clampdown; Education Firms Selloff Heavily

China shares fell sharply to their lowest levels this year on Monday as investor worries over the impact of government regulations kneecapped the education and property sectors, after Beijing barred for-profit tutoring in core school subjects.

The shakeout in China’s $120 billion private tutoring sector follows Beijing’s announcement on Friday of new rules barring for profit tutoring in core school subjects to ease financial pressures on families. The policy change also restricts foreign investment in the sector through mergers and acquisitions, franchises, or variable interest entity (VIEs) arrangements.

Hong Kong Stocks Fall as China Technology Crackdown Continues

Stocks in Hong Kong were pressured on Monday after China’s antitrust regulator ordered Tencent to give up its exclusive music licensing rights and slapped a fine on the company for anti-competitive behavior, as Beijing continues to crack down on its internet giants at home.

The latest regulatory crackdown comes as Beijing continues to curb the power of its domestic technology firms that have grown to become some of the most valuable companies in the world.

China’s widening clampdown has ranged from anti-competitive practices, to data security as well as increased scrutiny on Chinese companies with overseas listings in the U.S.

Nikkei Tracks Global Peers Higher, but Virus Woes Undermine Mood

Japanese shares ended higher on Monday, catching the tailwind from a bounce in global peers on positive corporate earnings, though gains were curbed by concerns that domestic COVID-19 infections could further dampen the country’s economic recovery.

The country’s benchmark Nikkei 225 Index rose after a four-day weekend that marked the opening of Tokyo Olympics before shedding a part of the gains into the close.

Australia Shares End Flat as Energy, Gold Stocks Drag

Australian shares pulled back from record highs to end flat on Monday as gains in mining stocks were offset by losses in energy and gold stocks, while rising domestic coronavirus cases also added to investor worries.

Mining stocks jumped as much as 1.5%, boosted by strong iron ore prices as a recovery in steel margins in China buoyed sentiment. Meanwhile, energy stocks dropped 1.4% as oil prices fell on concerns about fuel demand from the spread of COVID-19 variants and floods in China. Finally, gold stocks fell to their lowest since April 7, hurt by weak bullion prices, with the largest-listed gold miner Newcrest losing 1.5%.

In COVID-related news, the most populous state of New South Wales, home to Sydney, on Monday reported a rise in fresh COVID-19 cases despite an ongoing stay-at-home order.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Asia-Pacific Shares Settle Mixed; China Down on Regulatory Concerns, Aussie Stocks Close at Record High

The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes closed mixed on Friday, but mostly higher with China and Hong Kong markets taking a hit on renewed regulatory concerns. Also contributing to the mixed mood following a volatile trading week was a drop in investor sentiment on rising concerns over the pace of global growth tied to the COVID Delta variant outbreak.

Cash Market Performance

In the cash market on Friday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index settled at 27548.00, up 159.84 or +0.58%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index finished at 27321.98, down 401.86 or -1.45% and South Korea’s KOSPI Index closed at 3254.42, up 4.21 or +0.13%.

In China, the benchmark Shanghai Index settled at 3550.40, down 24.34, down 0.68% and in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 Index finished at 7394.40, up 8.00 or +0.11%.

China Shares Fall amid Renewed Regulatory Fears

Chinese tech firms listed in the city tumbled after Bloomberg News reported that Beijing is considering harsh penalties on ride-hailing giant Didi. The penalties being planned range from a fine likely bigger than the record $2.8 billion Alibaba paid earlier this year to even a forced delisting after Didi’s IPO last month.

Shares of Didi stateside plunged more than 11% on Thursday. Earlier in July, the firm was forced to stop signing up new users and also had its app removed from Chinese app stores due to alleged collection and use of personal data.

That development came as Beijing continues its months-long crackdown on China’s tech behemoths, targeting issues from anti-trust to data regulations.

Hong Kong Stocks Fall as Tech, Education and Property Shares Drop

Hong Kong stocks fell on Friday, dragged down by technology, education and property shares, as deepening concerns over Beijing’s tighter regulations weighed on sentiment.

The Hang Seng Tech Index slumped nearly 3% to the lowest closing level since October, 2020.

New Oriental Education & Technology Group Inc’s Hong Kong-traded shares plunged 41% to a record low, amid deepening concerns over China’s crackdown on tutoring businesses.

China will crack down on after-school tutoring businesses and ban listings of tutoring institutions, according to a soft copy of government document circulating on social media. Reuters was unable to immediately verify its authenticity.

Hong Kong-listed property shares also fell as worries over tough regulations linger. Chinese local governments should strictly control financing for property developers, including bank loans and improve land pricing mechanisms, state television quoted Vice Premier Han Zheng as saying on Thursday.

Australian Shares End at Record High on Healthcare, Tech Boost

Australian shares closed at a record high after a choppy afternoon trade on Friday, as gains in healthcare and tech stocks slightly outweighed losses in financial and energy firms.

Healthcare stocks added 1.3% and led gains on the benchmark index. The closing marked a fourth positive finish in the past five sessions.

Australian tech stocks followed suit, firming nearly 1% on strong cues from their Wall Street peers overnight.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Asia-Pacific Shares Follow Wall Street Lower; Nikkei Hits Six-Month Low on COVID Concerns

The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes finished sharply lower on Tuesday, following Wall Street’s lead after U.S. stock markets plunged the previous session. Fears over a COVID resurgence weighed on investor sentiment. Investors are concerned about the potential impact of the surge in infections on the global economic recovery.

Japan’s Nikkei ended at a 6-month low amid rising COVID-19 cases. South Korean stocks slid for a third day as virus woes sapped risk appetite. China shares edged lower as a key lending rate held steady and Australia shares extended losses as miners and energy stocks weighed on sentiment.

Cash Market Performance

In the cash market on Tuesday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index settled to 27388.16, down 264.58 or -0.96%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index finished at 27259.25, down 230.53 or -0.84% and South Korea’s KOSPI Index closed at 3232.70, down 11.34 or -0.35%.

In China, the benchmark Shanghai Index settled at 3536.79, down 2.33 or -0.07% and in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 finished at 7252.20, down 33.80 or -0.46%.

Japan’s Nikkei Ends at 6-Month Low Amid Rising COVID-19 Cases

Japan’s Nikkei share average fell to a six-month low on Tuesday, tracking a broad sell-off on Wall Street as concerns grew that rising coronavirus cases globally could derail a nascent economic recovery.

As COVID-19 cases rise in Tokyo, now under its fourth state of emergency, public concern has grown that hosting the Tokyo Olympics with tens of thousands of overseas visitors could accelerate infection rates in Japan’s capital and introduce variants that are more infectious or deadlier.

South Korean Stocks Slide for Third Day as Virus Woes Sap Risk Appetite

South Korean shares ended lower for a third straight session on Tuesday, as technology heavyweights tracked overnight losses on Wall Street over worries about surging coronavirus cases globally.

Chip giant Samsung Electronics fell as much as 0.76%, while peer SK Hynix slid 0.42%. Internet giant Naver and battery maker LG Chem also dropped 0.90% and 0.61%, respectively.

China Shares Edge Down as Key Lending Rate Kept Steady

China shares ended down on Tuesday after Beijing kept a benchmark lending rate unchanged despite growing expectations for a cut, while investor concerns over developer Evergrande affected the property sector.

Policymakers kept the one-year loan prime rate (LPR) at 3.85%. The five-year LPR remained at 4.65%. The rate was unchanged for the 15th straight month, despite growing expectations for a cut after a surprise lowering of bank reserve requirements.

The steady LPR, coming after the central bank kept the rate on medium-term lending facility (MLF) loans unchanged last week, suggests policymakers are looking to avoid full-scale easing.

Australia Shares Extend Losses as Miners and Energy Stocks Weigh

Australian shares pared back sharp losses made in the morning trade but ended lower on Tuesday, as a steep drop in mining and energy stocks outweighed gains in tech and healthcare firms.

On Tuesday, South Australia also entered lockdown, the third Australian state to do so as the country battled the worst COVID-19 outbreak of this year.

Aussie miners were among the biggest drags on the benchmark, slumping nearly 1.9% even as iron ore prices inched up. Energy stocks slumped as oil prices dipped 7% overnight, while Australia healthcare stocks reversed losses to end 0.9% higher.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Asia-Pacific Stock Indexes Finish Mixed, but Mostly Lower Amid Renewed COVID-19 Variant Concerns

The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes finished mixed but mostly lower on Friday as investors booked profits ahead of the weekend. Worries about valuations weighed on risk sentiment as well as concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 Delta Variant and its potential impact on the pace of the global economic recovery.

In Japan, the Nikkei dipped below 28,000 as tech stocks followed the U.S. NASDAQ Composite lower. Hong Kong shares inched higher while posting a weekly gain. South Korean stocks ended lower on virus worries and a tech sell-off, but still posted its first weekly gain in three.

China shares were down on Friday, but finished higher for the week as investors bet on policy support. Australian shares edged lower as lockdowns weighed on investors sentiment.

Friday’s Cash Price Performance

On Friday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index settled at 28003.08, down 276.01 or -0.98%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index finished at 28004.68, up 8.41 or +0.03% and South Korea’s KOSPI Index closed at 3276.91, down 9.31 or -0.28%.

In China, the Shanghai Index settled at 3539.03, down 25.29 or -0.71% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index finished at 7348.10, up 12.20 or +0.17%.

China Stocks Post Weekly Gains as Investors Bet on Policy Support

China stocks posted weekly gains, as investors took comfort in the central bank’s surprise decision to cut the amount of cash that banks must hold as reserves to help underpin the country’s post-COVID economic recovery.

China’s central banks made a surprise cut in banks’ reserve requirement ratio (RRR) last Friday, releasing around 1 trillion Yuan in long-term liquidity, lifting hopes for further policy supports throughout the week.

Investor sentiment was also lifted by better-than-expected June activity data including retail and industrial output, driven by a rebound in developed market demand coupled with the sluggish recovery in Southeast Asian exporters.

Nikkei Breaks Below 28,000 as Tech Stocks Track NASDAQ Slide

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei share average fell below the psychologically key 28,000 mark on Friday as tech shares tracked declines on Wall Street overnight, while a continued surge in coronavirus infections dented investor sentiment.

New COVID-19 infections leapt to 1,308 cases in Tokyo on Thursday, the highest since January, a week before the city hosts the Olympics, which could potentially spark a renewed surge in infections amid the influx of foreign athletes and officials.

South Korea Stocks Fall on Virus Worries, Tech Sell-Off

South Korean shares retreated on Friday, dragged down by tech stocks after the NASDAQ closed lower overnight, while rising local COVID-19 cases also weighed on risk appetite.

South Korea’s prime minister said more limits on private gatherings may be needed around the country as the country battles the worst-ever outbreak, with authorities reporting 1,536 new coronavirus cases for Thursday.

Australian Shares Edge Lower as Lockdowns Weigh

Australian shares inched lower on Friday as lockdowns in the country’s two most populous cities soured investor sentiment, with heavyweight miners snapping a four-day winning streak.

The state of Victoria was ordered into a five-day lockdown on Thursday following a spike I COVID-19 infections, joining Sydney as they battle an outbreak of the highly contagious Delta variant.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

China Shares Rise on June Exports Beat; Aussie Stocks Stumble Amid Possible Extension of COVID-19 Lockdowns

The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes were mostly higher on Tuesday as investors reacted to an unexpected jump in China’s trade data for June. Meanwhile, Australia shares ended flat as major banks weighed on the broad index.

Japanese shares closed near a one-month high as investors awaited earnings. South Korean stocks ended higher on upbeat Chinese data and Hong Kong shares rose on the back of technology and financial strength.

Cash Market Performance

In the cash market on Tuesday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index settled at 28718.24, up 149.22 or +0.52%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index finished at 27963.41, up 448.17 or +1.63% and South Korea’s KOSPI Index closed at 3271.38, up 24.91 or +0.77%.

In China, the benchmark Shanghai Index settled at 3566.52, up 18.69 or +0.53% and in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 Index finished at 7332.10, down 1.40 or -0.02%.

China Shares End Higher on Consumer Boost after Strong Export Data

China’s blue-chips closed higher on Tuesday, supported by strong gains in consumer staples firms, as new data showed the country’s exports grew at a much-faster-than-expected pace in June on recovering global demand, Reuters reported.

China’s exports in June jumped 32.2% as compared with a year earlier, customs data showed Tuesday. That was much higher than a forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll for a 23.1% growth in exports for June.

The data also showed Chinese imports in June surging 36.7%. That compared against an estimate for imports to have increased 30%, according to Reuters.

Australia Shares End Flat as Major Banks Weigh

Australian shares closed slightly lower on Tuesday, as major banks capped the advances made by heavyweight miners, with the possibility of a coronavirus-led lockdown being extended in the country’s largest city still left open.

Australia reported a slight easing in new COVID-19 cases in Sydney on Tuesday, but the possibility of a lockdown extension still looms, with growing fears that the outbreak was showing early signs of spreading further afield, according to Reuters.

The heavyweight financial index closed 0.4% lower, with Australia’s biggest lender Commonwealth Bank of Australia and second-largest lender Wespac skidding up to 0.8% and 0.5%, respectively.

In contrast, Australian mining stocks closed 0.04% higher with iron ore advancing more than 3% as lingering concerns about a tight supply of the steelmaking raw material eclipsed expectations of a slowdown in China’s steel demand.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Marketmind: Real World Data Bites

While U.S. 10-year Treasury yields have bounced back 10 basis points from the 1.25% floor hit last week, there’s still a lot of uncertainty on the direction of travel.

The pandemic is obviously the biggest unknown moving forward with the Delta variant causing a surge in cases around the world.

From Sydney, which reported another record daily rise in COVID-19 cases, to London where the British government’s plans to lift restrictions comes just as a new wave of infections hits, it’s clearly not what markets had in minds.

In that light, China cutting the amount of cash that banks must hold as reserves to boost liquidity and back its economic recovery is a sign that the global economy is not out of the wood yet.

The move has at least temporarily lifted spirits in Asia with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.7% after shedding 2.3% last week.

Shanghai copper prices also rose, while a steady dollar ahead of U.S. inflation data on Tuesday kept London prices under pressure.

Crude futures are also under pressure despite talks among key producers to raise output in coming months stalling.

In Europe and on Wall Street, stocks futures are mixed ahead of an earnings season that is about to kick off with record expectations.

While profits for Europe Inc are expected to have soared over 100% in the second quarter, any setback could bite hard with markets already pricing stellar earnings.

Key developments that should provide more direction to markets on Monday:

– ECB to change policy guidance at next meeting, Lagarde says

– Credit Suisse’s Swiss compliance officer Scarlato leaving

– Euro zone ministers meet

— Auctions of U.S. 6-mth, US 10 year, 3 year notes

– ECB Vice-president Luis de Guindos speaks

– New York Fed President John Williams speaks on inflation

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

(Reporting by Julien Ponthus; editing by Dhara Ranasinghe)

Asia-Pacific Shares Finish Mixed on China Crackdown Concerns, Uncertainty Ahead of Fed Minutes

The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes finished mixed on Tuesday as investors awaited clarity on future monetary policy from the U.S. Federal Reserve following the release of the minutes from its June meeting on Wednesday. In other news, the Reserve Bank of Australia announced Tuesday its decision to keep the cash rate target at 0.1%.

Tuesday’s Cash Market Performance

In the cash market on Tuesday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index settled at 28643.21, up 45.02 or +0.16%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index finished at 28072.86, down 70.64 or -0.25% and South Korea’s KOSPI Index closed at 3305.21, up 12.00 or +0.36%.

In China, the benchmark Shanghai Index settled at 3530.26, down 4.06 or -0.11% and in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 Index finished at 7261.80, down 53.20 or -0.73%.

China Stocks End Lower as Healthcare, Tech Firms Tumble

China stocks ended lower on Tuesday, with healthcare and tech firms leading the losses, as local investors remained wary of lofty valuations of certain sectors.

The Shenzhen’s start-up board declined 1.8%, while Shanghai’s tech-focused index lost 2.7%. Leading the declines among sectors, the CSI300 healthcare index tumbled as much as 6% before ending 3.8% lower.

Chinese tech firms slumped amid concerns over Beijing’s crackdown on ride-hailing giant Didi Global and scrutiny of other platform companies in the country.

Tech Stocks Drag Australia Shares Lower, Despite Energy Boost

Australian shares closed lower on Tuesday weighed down by tech stocks and as the country’s central bank in a policy meeting decided to pare its bond buying program.

The Reserve Bank of Australia in its July policy meeting on Tuesday held the cash rate at 0.1%, as widely expected, and highlighted ongoing virus outbreaks as a key near-term uncertainty. The big four banks were down between 0.2% and 0.6%, while the financial sub-index fell 0.42%. However, the jump in oil prices boosted Australia’s energy sub-index which rallied to 1.6%, after hitting a near 3-week high during Tuesday’s session.

Nikkei Gains as SoftBank, Uniqlo Owner Rebound

Japan’s Nikkei ended modestly higher on Tuesday as shares of SoftBank Group and Fast Retailing rebounded, although worries over a potential spike in coronavirus infections during the Olympics limited gains. The Nikkei had slid more than 0.6% in the previous session after a rise in COVID-19 cases in Tokyo over the weekend.

Meanwhile, Japan’s government is likely to decide on Thursday to extend a state of quasi-emergency in Tokyo and three nearby prefectures beyond an original an original end-date of July 11.

South Korean Stocks Hit Record Closing High on Tech Boost Ahead of Samsung Electronics Earnings

South Korean Shares posted a record closing high on Tuesday, led by technology stocks ahead of the preliminary earnings from Samsung Electronics, with investors awaiting minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting.

Samsung Electronics is expected to see a 38% surge in profit for the April-June quarter, thanks to strong chip prices and demand spurred by a pandemic-led consumer appetite for electronics as well as recovering investment in data centers.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Asia-Pacific Shares Called Higher Following More Record Highs on Wall Street

The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes are expected to open firmer on Tuesday following a flat trade the previous session. Investors are expected to follow Wall Street’s lead which saw the S&P 500 and NASDAQ Composite set more record highs, boosted by a court win for Facebook and broad strength in tech stocks.

Asian shares got the week off to a cautious start on Monday, with Chinese markets holding steady, as a spike in coronavirus cases across the region over the weekend hurt investor sentiment.

In the U.S. on Monday, tech stocks surged, with shares of Apple and Salesforce adding more than 1%. Facebook jumped more than 4% after a U.S. federal court dismissed an antitrust case against the company from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and closed with a market cap above $1 trillion. Semiconductor stocks were a bright spot on Monday, with Nvidia rising 5% and Broadcom climbing more than 2%.

Monday’s Cash Market Performance

In the cash market on Monday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index settled at 29048.02, down 18.16 or -0.06%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index finished at 29268.30, down 19.92 or -0.07% and South Korea’s KOSPI Index closed at 3301.89, down 0.95 or -0.03%.

In China, the Shanghai Index settled at 3606.37, down 1.19 or -0.03% and in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 Index finished at 7307.30, down 0.70 or -0.01%.

Japan’s Nikkei Ends Flat as Investors Cautious Ahead of U.S. Data

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei index ended lower on Monday, weighed down by chip-related stocks tracking a muted NASDAQ trade in the previous session, while investors were also cautious ahead of key U.S. economic data due later this week.

”Some key U.S. economic reports such as jobs data will be released later this week, so inventors will remain cautious for the whole week,” Tomoichiro Kubota, a senior market analyst at Matsui Securities, said. “But that does not mean sentiment is bad as other indexes have risen.”

Hong Kong Stocks End Lower as Materials Outweigh Consumer Gains

Hong Kong stocks ended slightly lower on Monday, as losses in energy and materials companies outweighed gains among consumer and healthcare firms.

The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares dipped 1.6%, the materials sector lost 2.3%, while the consumer discretionary index and the healthcare sector gained 1.7% and 1.8%, respectively.

China’s Blue-Chip Index ends Higher as Tech Stocks Shine

China’s blue-chip index ended higher on Monday, underpinned by tech gains, as investors hoped for continued policy support.

Tech stocks outperformed on Monday. Shenzhen’s tech-heavy start-up board rose 1.9%, and Shanghai’s tech-focused STAR50 index climbed 1.8%.

Beijing will not change or could even step up its support for the country’s technology sector, which is the biggest good news for related stocks in the A-share market, brokerage Orient Securities said in a report.

In other news, data over the weekend showed profit growth at China’s industrial firms slowed again in May as surging raw material prices squeezed margins and weighed on factory activity.

Profits at China’s industrial firms rose 36.4% in May from a year earlier to 829.92 billion Yuan ($128.58 billion), official data showed on Sunday. That was a slowdown from the 57% surge reported in April, according to National Bureau of Statistics.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Asia-Pacific Shares Rise Accross the Board Led by Materials Jump Following US Infrastructure Deal

The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes followed Wall Street higher on Friday with shares in Hong Kong leading the charge.

In the U.S. on Thursday, the benchmark S&P 500 Index gained 0.58% to a new record closing high. The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 0.94% and the tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite finished 0.68% higher. The gains stateside came after U.S. President Joe Biden announced the White House had reached an infrastructure deal after meeting with a bipartisan group of senators.

Cash Market Performance

In the cash market on Friday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index settled at 29066.18, up 190.95 or +0.66%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index finished at 29288.22, up 405.76 or +1.40% and South Korea’s KOSPI Index closed at 3302.84, up 16.74 or +0.51%.

In China, the benchmark Shanghai Index settled at 3607.56, up 40.91 or +1.15% and in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 Index finished at 7308.00, up 32.70 or +0.45%.

Hong Kong Stocks End Higher on Tech, Materials Boost

Hong Kong stocks closed higher on Friday to post weekly gains, as tech and materials companies rose after mainland investors continued to buy shares via the Stock Connect. Leading the gains, the Hang Seng tracking energy shares rose 1.7%, while the IT sector rose 3.1%, the financial sector ended 0.75% higher and the property sector rose 0.18%.

Aiding sentiment was continued buying from mainland investors, who purchased a net 5 billion Yuan worth of Hong Kong shares on Friday, according to Refinitiv data.

China Stocks Post Weekly Gain on Financials Boost

China stocks jumped on Friday to snap three straight weekly losses, powered by gains in heavyweight financial firms. Financial firms underpinned the market, with the CSI300 financials index jumping 1.7%. The CSI SWS securities index rose 3.1%.

“The golden era for Chinese residents to boost equities has arrived, leading to a long-term upbeat cycle for securities firms,” SWS Research said in a report. “Residents’ wealth migration to equities assets are accelerating as other competitive wealth products’ returns continue to decline,” SWS Research added.

Australia Shares Gain as US Infrastructure Bill Raises Recovery Hopes

Australian stocks rose on Friday, led by banks and mining stocks, after U.S. President Joe Biden embracing a bipartisan Senate infrastructure deal raised hopes of a recovery in the world’s largest economy.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 closed 0.5% higher at 7,308.0, but notched its first weekly loss in six as surging COVID-19 cases in the country’s most populous state, New South Wales kept markets on edge through the week.

“The infrastructure announcement means there will be a whole lot of cash injection into the system. It means, there will be a strong demand for materials, and that will definitely benefit the Australian market,” said Brad Smoling, managing director at Smoling stockbroking.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Asia-Pacific Investors Hoping to Ride Wall Street, Powell’s Friendly Comments Higher on Opening

The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes are expected to open steady-to-better on Tuesday following another solid performance on Wall Street. The S&P 500 ended its trading session just under a new closing record, while the tech-weighted NASDAQ Composite climbed to an all-time high. The Dow was also higher after posting its best day since March on Monday.

Asia-Pacific traders are likely to get their guidance from Tuesday’s testimony before a House of Representatives panel by Fed Chair Jerome Powell, which began at 18:00 GMT.

Powell reaffirmed the U.S. central bank’s intent to encourage a “broad and inclusive” recovery of the job market, and not to raise interest rates too quickly based only on the fear of coming inflation.

“We will not raise interest rates preemptively because we fear the possible onset of inflation. We will wait for evidence of actual inflation or other imbalances,” Powell said.

Recent price increases “don’t speak to a broadly tight economy” that would require higher interest rates, Powell said, but come from categories “directly affected by reopening” of the economy.

Tuesday’s Cash Market Performance

In the cash market on Tuesday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index settled at 28884.13, up 873.20 or +3.12%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index finished at 28309.76, down 179.24 or -0.63% and South Korea’s KOSPI Index closed at 3263.88, up 0.71%.

In China, the benchmark Shanghai Index settled at 3557.41, up 28.23 or +0.80% and in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 Index finished at 7342.20, up 1.48%.

Nikkei Posts Biggest Gains in a Year as Shippers Hit 10-Year Highs

Japanese shares jumped on Tuesday, tracking Wall Street overnight, boosted by shipping stocks after Mitsui OSK Lines more than tripled its half-yearly net profit forecast. The rise in the benchmark Nikkei marked its biggest percentage gain since June last year.

Shippers led gains, with the top three firms logging a rise of more than 10%, after Mitsui OSK Lines raised its forecast for six-month net income to 170 billion Yen ($1.54 billion) from 50 billion yen.

Automakers were among other stand-out stocks, with Suzuki Motor rallying 7.4% and Toyota Motor adding 3.3% amid a weakening Yen, which boosts exporters’ profits. Home builders also gained.

Australia Shares Rise Most in Nearly 4 Months on Energy, Mining Stocks

Australian shares jumped the most since March on Tuesday, rebounding from the previous session’s drop as an overnight rally on Wall Street spurred investors to pile into domestic energy and mining stocks.

The domestic energy index surged 2.2% as oil prices also advanced. Benchmark heavyweight miners gained 2.1%.

Despite the strong performance, the benchmark index’s gains may have been capped by concerns around COVID-19 cases in the country’s most populous state of New South Wales (NSW).

Looking Ahead to Wednesday

Investors are hoping to ride the strong performance on Wall Street to even higher levels on Wednesday especially since Powell seems to have downplayed the threat of higher inflation and a sooner than expected rate hike.

In the U.S. cash market on Tuesday, the benchmark S&P 500 Index settled at 4246.44, up 21.65 or +0.51%. The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average finished at 33945.58, up 69.61 or +0.20% and the tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite closed at 14253.27, up 111.79 or +0.79%.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Steep Drop in Japan’s Nikkei 225 Drags Major Asia-Pacific Stock Indexes Lower

Most of the major Asia-Pacific stock indexes are down sharply following a plunge in Japanese shares. China stocks, however, are bucking the trend with a slight gain.

Japanese stocks slumped on Monday, tracking Wall Street’s sharp decline over the weekend, after Federal Reserve official James Bullard surprised markets by signaling that the U.S. central bank might raise interest rates sooner.

Heavy selling across the board at the Tokyo Stock Exchange dragged down the other regional indexes.

Meanwhile, Chinese shares were underpinned after the country announced that the one-year Loan Prime Rate (LPR) was kept unchanged at 3.85% while the five-year LPR was also held steady at 4.65%. That was in line with expectations of majority of analysts in a snap Reuters poll, who had predicted no change to the one-year Loan Prime Rate as well as the five-year LPR.

Cash Market Performance

In the cash market on Monday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index it trading at 27980.87, down 983.21 or -3.39%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index is at 28533.51, down 267.76 or -0.93% and South Korean’s KOSPI Index is trading at 3228.30, down 39.63 or -1.21%.

In China, the benchmark Shanghai Index is trading 3529.05, up 3.95% or +0.11% and in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 Index is at 7237.40, down 131.50.

Nikkei Plunges to 1-Month Low

Heavy selling was seen across almost all sectors, with the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s 33 industry sub-indexes trading lower, while just one stock climbed in the benchmark Nikkei. The Nikkei share average fell below 28,000 for the first time since May 20.

“The Japanese market is reacting too much. First of all, rate hikes are signs of an economic recovery,” Shuji Hosoi, senior strategist at Daiwa Securities, said. “But Japan needs to find its own consistent reason for a market rebound as Japanese companies are already speeding up vaccine rollouts for their employees. A steady vaccine rollout could be a major reason for an economic recovery.”

South Korea Stocks Track Wall Street Losses on Hawkish Fed

South Korean shares fell on Monday, catching the tailwind from a retreat on Wall Street, as investors remained wary of a more hawkish stance from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Among heavyweights, chip giants Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix fell 0.75% and 1.61%, respectively, while battery maker LG Chem and internet giant Naver slid 0.12% and 0.38%, respectively.

Australian Shares Drop as Fed Official’s Hawkish View Spooks Investors

Australian shares on Monday were set for their steepest fall in nearly five weeks, as they tracked a sell-off on Wall Street in the previous session on comments from a Federal Reserve official on sooner-than-expected rate hikes.

In the domestic market, financials declined the most, shedding more than 3%. The so-called “Big Four” banks fell between 2.1% and 4.4%.

Commodities also continued to lose ground. Gold stocks lost nearly 2%, with sector heavyweight Newcrest Mining dipping 1.3%. Energy stocks were down 1.8%, with Viva Energy slipping 1.1%.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Asia-Pacific Stocks: Japanese Shares Follow NASDAQ Higher; Aussie Shares Jump on Dovish RBA Minutes

The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes finished mixed on Tuesday with shares in Australia and Japan bucking the trend with nearly 1% gains. Trading was relatively light as investors looked to a much-anticipated Federal Reserve policy meeting on Wednesday to see if the central bank would signal any change to the U.S. monetary policy outlook.

In the cash market on Tuesday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index settled at 29441.30, up 279.50 or +0.96%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index finished at 28638.53, down 203.60 or -0.71% and South Korea’s KOSPI Index closed at 3258.63, up 6.50 or +0.20%.

Traders will look closely at any hints from the meeting’s final statement about whether and when the Fed plans to taper its bond buying program, amid concerns from some quarters about inflation as the U.S. economy bounces back from the pandemic fallout. The two-day meeting starts on Tuesday.

Japanese Shares Track NASDAQ Higher, Drug Makers Shine

Japanese shares closed higher on Tuesday, buoyed by technology and growth-oriented stocks following a strong finish on the NASDAQ Composite overnight, while drug makers extended their gains.

Growth stocks led the gains after NASDAQ shares outperformed on Wall Street, with the Topix Growth Index rising 1.09%, compared with 0.53% gains in value shares.

“Today’s (Tuesday) strong market finish is simply a reaction to the gains in the NASDAQ overnight,” said Jun Morita, general manager of the research department at Chibagin Asset Management.

Drug makers were the top gainers among the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s 33 sectors with a rise of 1.65%. Eisai jumped 6.59%, making it the biggest gainer on the Nikkei.

Takeda Pharmaceutical, which is handling the supply of Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine in Japan, rose 1.69% after clinical tests showed the U.S. firm’s vaccine candidate is more than 90% effective against a variety of variants of the virus.

Australia Shares Close at Record High as RBA Signals Continued Dovish Policy

Australian shares closed at a record high on Tuesday, helped by gains among banking and healthcare stocks, and after minutes from the domestic central bank’s June meeting signaled a continuation of its accommodative stance.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is ready to extend its bond purchase program beyond September, minutes from its June policy meeting showed, with members calling the program “one of the factors underpinning the accommodative conditions necessary for the economic recovery”.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Asia-Pacific Shares Called Higher, but Gains Could Be Muted by Fed Policy Uncertainty

The major Asia-Pacific shares are expected to open higher on Monday, following Friday’s Wall Street performance. The price action could be muted, however, due to uncertainty ahead of the start of a two-day Federal Reserve monetary policy agreement.

U.S. stocks closed modestly higher at the end of a listless week marked with few market-moving catalysts and persistent concerns over whether current inflation spikes could linger and cause the U.S. Federal Reserve to tighten its dovish policy sooner than expected.

A broad gauge of Asian shares rose on Friday as investors looked past rising U.S. consumer prices and focused on one off-factors which suggested higher inflation could be short-lived.

Cash Market Performance

In the cash market on Friday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index settled at 28948.75, down 9.83 or -0.03%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index finished at 28842.13, up 103.25 or +0.36% and South Korea’s KOSPI Index closed on 3249.32, up 24.68 or +0.77%.

In China, the benchmark Shanghai Index settled at 3589.75, down 21.11 or -0.58% and in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 Index finished at 7312.30, up 9.80 or +0.13%.

Japanese Shares End Lower as Cyclical Stocks Drag; Toshiba Slips

Japanese shares ended marginally lower on Friday as losses in cyclical stocks, as well as banks and property firms, offset gains in heavyweight technical firms.

Toshiba Corp shed 1.59% after an explosive investigation released on Thursday found the company and the government colluded to lean on foreign investors to fall in line with management’s wishes.

Some market participants doubt Japan’s economy will recover as quickly as that of the United States and other advanced nations, as the country grapples with a fourth wave of the pandemic.

South Korean Stocks Extend Gains for Fourth Week as Inflation Fears Ease

South Korean shares closed higher on Friday, tracking overnight gains in Wall Street as inflationary concerns eased ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting next week.

The benchmark index ended the week up 0.29%, extending the buying spree to a fourth straight week. Among the heavyweights, technology giant Samsung Electronics ended flat, while peer SK Hynix rose 4.07%. Battery maker LG Chem added 5.33%.

In other news, the Bank of Korea will start normalizing its loose monetary policy in an orderly manner once the economy is seen on track for a solid recovery, the central bank’s governor said.

Australia Shares Rise for Fourth Week as U.S. Inflation Worries Cool

Australian shares ended at a record high on Friday, supported by tech stocks and gold miners, and notched up a fourth straight weekly gain as investors bet spiking U.S. inflation would be temporary as predicted by the Federal Reserve.

Gold stocks were the best performers, jumping 3.4% and marking their best session since May 7, as bullion prices edged above $1,900 per ounce. On Australia’s gold sub-index, Newcrest Mining gained 3.1% to mark its best session in over a month, while Bellevue Gold added 7.8%.

Technology stocks ended at a five-week high, tracking overnight gains on the tech-heavy NASDAQ.

National Australia Bank (NAB) posted a 3.8% weekly loss, recording its worst week since late October last year, as the lender is under investigation for suspected breaches of anti-money laundering laws.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Asia-Pacific Shares Finish Mostly Higher; China Central Bank Comments Ease Inflation Concerns

The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes closed mostly higher on Thursday, as investors positioned themselves ahead of the release of a U.S. consumer inflation report for May.

Japan’s Nikkei ended higher on economic rebound hopes. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng ended slightly lower as investors awaited the U.S. inflation data. South Korean stocks ended higher on foreign buying. Shares in China rose as inflation fears eased, and in Australia, technology and banking stocks were strong.

Cash Market Performance

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 Index settled at 28958.56, up 97.76 or +0.34%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng finished at 28738.88, down 3.75 or -0.01% and South Korea’s KOSPI Index closed at 3224.64, up 8.46 or +0.26%.

China’s benchmark Shanghai Index settled at 3610.86, up 19.46 or +0.54% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index finished at 7302.50, up 32.30 or +0.44%.

Japan’s Nikkei Ends Higher on Economic Rebound Hopes

Japan’s Nikkei Index closed higher on Thursday, as shipping firms rose on prospects of more economic reopenings and drugmakers were boosted by reports of government support.

Signs that more economies are reopening amid a steady vaccine rollout underpinned shipping firms, with Nippon Yusen jumping 3.65% to be the biggest gainer on the Nikkei.

Japan plans to finish vaccinating all citizens who have applied for shots by October-November, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said during a debate between party leaders on Wednesday.

China Stocks End Higher as Inflation Fears Ease

China stocks ended higher on Thursday, as regulators played down inflation worries and as Sino-U.S. talks helped underpin sentiment.

China’s central bank governor said inflation is “basically under control”, and monetary policy would be kept steady, in comments a day after concerns over inflationary pressures were fanned by data showing the fastest rise in factory-gate prices in 12 years.

In other news, top U.S. and Chinese commerce officials spoke by telephone and agreed to promote healthy trade and cooperate over differences, China’s commerce ministry said on Thursday, the latest high-level exchange as the countries spar over disagreements.

Australia Shares Rise on Tech, Banking Stocks as Focus Shifts to US Inflation

Australian shares rose on Thursday, led by technology and banking stocks, while global markets closely watched for U.S. inflation data for clues on how soon the Federal Reserve will start tapering its massive stimulus.

Technology stocks were the best performers on the benchmark index, jumping 2% to close at a more than one-month high. Banks rose 0.4%, with three of the so-called “Big Four” closing in positive territory.

In commodity-related shares, domestic gold stocks recorded gains, even as bullion prices remained largely subdued, with investors turning cautious ahead of the U.S. inflation data and a European Central Bank meeting.

Energy stocks fell 1.1% and capped gains on the index, as oil prices fell on weaker-than-expected fuel demand.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Asia-Pacific Shares Mixed; China PPI Higher than Expected, Japan’s Nikkei Weighed Down by US CPI Worries

The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes finished mixed but mostly lower on Wednesday, as investors assessed the impact of Chinese inflation data, while awaiting the release of Thursday’s U.S. consumer inflation report and the European Central Bank’s monetary policy decision.

Hong Kong shares ended lower after the U.S. passed a bill that poses a threat to Chinese technology. South Korean stocks finished nearly 1% lower on a technology slump and Japanese shares were pressured by cautious trading ahead of the U.S. inflation data.

Australian shares were dragged down by bank shares, and Chinese stocks rose as factory-gate data signaled a strong recovery.

Cash Market Performance

In the cash market on Wednesday, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index settled at 28742.63, down 38.75 or -0.13%. The South Korean KOSPI finished at 3216.18, down 31.65 or -0.97% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index closed at 28860.80, down 102.76 or -0.35%.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index settled at 7270.20, down 22.40 or -0.31% and in China, the benchmark Shanghai Index finished at 3591.40, up 11.29 or +0.32%.

China Shares End Higher as Factory-Gate Data Signals Recovery

China stocks ended higher on Wednesday, driven by coal and resources firms, as investors lapped up data that showed factory-gate prices in May saw their fastest annual pace in more than 12 years, implying signs of steady global economic recovery.

China’s producer price index for May jumped 9% from a year earlier, against expectations in a Reuters poll for a 8.5% increase. The country’s consumer price index in May rose 1.3% from a year earlier, lower than an expected 1.6% rise in a Reuters poll.

Hong Kong Shares End Lower as U.S. Bill on China Tech Threat Weighs

Hong Kong shares closed lower on Wednesday, dragged by tech firms after U.S. Senator passed a package of laws aimed at boosting its ability to take on Chinese technology.

The U.S. Senate voted 68-32 on Tuesday to approve a sweeping package of legislation intended to boost the country’s ability to compete with Chinese technology.

The Chinese foreign ministry on Wednesday urged the United States to stop promoting such laws and to stop depicting China as a threat.

Japan Shares End Lower on Caution Ahead of US Inflation Data

Japanese equities closed lower on Wednesday, on profit-taking in shippers and semiconductor stocks, with investors awaiting U.S. inflation data as it could influence how soon the Federal Reserve pares its stimulus program.

Financial firms and insurers declined after a retreat in long-term U.S. Treasury yields dampened the outlook for returns on their portfolios.

Eisai Co, however, surged 16.26%, rising by the daily limit for a second straight session after its Alzheimer’s drug received a nod from U.S. regulators on Monday.

“Japanese investors want to see the U.S. CPI number tomorrow, and if it’s not faster than expected, that should come as a relief to markets and could very well result in a rally,” said Masahiro Ichikawa, chief strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management.

Right now though, “there’s a strong wait-and-see attitude overall in markets,” he said, adding that investors booked profits and squared positions ahead of the data.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.