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Asian Markets  Slip, Trump and Brexit on Their Minds

Asian Markets Slip, Trump and Brexit on Their Minds

2017-01-18 08:05:00
David Cottle, Analyst
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Talking Points:

  • Asian markets broadly lower as investors prefer haven assets while waiting for Donald Trump’s inauguration
  • Chinese stocks were the clear exception
  • Sterling has retraced a little, while the US Dollar has clawed back some ground

Asian markets were broadly weaker on Wednesday, following Wall Street’s lead. Shares there dropped on Tuesday as investors worried anew about what a Donald Trump Presidency will mean for the economy.

There are special concerns about his likely relationship with Beijing and some investors have opted for more assets perceived to be defensive, such as bonds and certain currencies, at the expense of stocks. The ten-year US Treasury yield settled at 2.327% on Tuesday, its lowest close since November 29.

That said stock falls were not great on Wednesday, and many Asian bourses remain close to three-month highs.

The Nikkei slipped 0.2%, South Korea’s Kospi shed 0.1% and Australia’s ASX 200 lost 0.4%.

It seems that the more hopeful “Trump trade” which kicked in after the maverick businessman’s shock election win in November has stalled, at least until investors know more about what the new White House will look like.

The exceptions to this rule have been Chinese shares. They ended higher both on the mainland and – notably – in Hong Kong, where the Hang Seng index chalked up a 1.2% gain.

There have been some speculative wire reports suggesting that Chinese state funds have lifted these markets to offer President Xi Jinping the most pleasant possible backdrop to his appearance at the World Economic Forum in Davos this week. However, these are unconfirmed (if not wholly unlikely) and sentiment toward China has improved in any case, with the International Monetary Fund boosting its growth expectations of the country to 6.5% this year, from 6.2%.

In Asia’s currency markets, the US Dollar clawed back some of the substantial losses it incurred on Tuesday when President-elect Trump was revealed to have told the Wall Street Journal that it is too strong, marking a dramatic break with modern Presidential tradition. The British Pound, meanwhile, has come back down a little way from the huge gains it scored after UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s key Brexit speech in London.

Retracing a few steps: GBP/USD

Asian Markets  Slip, Trump and Brexit on Their Minds

Chart compiled using TradingView

Wednesday offers investors a plethora of first-rank economic numbers, including employment data out of the UK and inflation snapshots from there, the US and the Eurozone. There is also a monetary policy decision out of Canada with the Reserve Bank expected to leave the policy settings alone.

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--- Written by David Cottle, DailyFX Research

Contact and follow David on Twitter:@DavidCottleFX

DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.

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