Most Asian Markets Backtrack, China Holds Up. Sterling Battered
- Most Asian stocks slipped on Monday
- Chinese bourses were the exception, as strong corporate stories helped
- The Pound and the New Zealand Dollar were pressured
Most Asia Pacific stock markets retraced Monday following Friday’s second day of falls for Wall Street.
The Nikkei 225 was down 1.3% at the close, with Australia’s ASX 200 off by 0.1% and South Korea’s Kospi down by 0.4%. Chinese stocks provided brighter spots. The Hang Seng rose, helped by a strong start for gaming company Razer, while stocks in Shanghai got a lift from record Singles Day sales at Alibaba.
In the currency markets the British Pound had a horrible Monday. Worries about the stability of Prime Minister Theresa May’s administration did the damage, as did mounting concerns that Brexit talks could conclude without a deal. The US Dollar initially attracted something of a haven bid, although the Japanese Yen seemed increasingly to take this role as the session went on. The New Zealand Dollar also took a hit as political parties in its homeland wrangled over ratification of a revised Trans Pacific Partnership- the trade deal from which Donald Trump has extricated the United States.
Philadelphia Federal Reserve President Patrick Harker said that he had “lightly pencilled in” a rate increase for next month, but that inflation’s weakness puzzled him.
Bitcoin endured a roller coaster session, retreating sharply from near all-time highs before bouncing. The cryptocurrency standard bearer tends to slip when markets are in “risk off” mode but this retracement may simply be a function of its spectacular run higher.
Gold prices were steady while crude oil prices firmed up on enduring Middle East tensions even as news of increased US drilling capped gains. There is very little of special note on the economic data schedule for the rest of the day which may leave markets to gnaw current themes.
--- Written by David Cottle, DailyFX Research
Contact and follow David on Twitter:@DavidCottleFX