Asian Markets Mixed, Muted Despite Stronger Wall St. Lead
- Most Asian stock markets failed to hold their gains Monday
- A marginally stronger US Dollar may have played a part
- Cryptocurrencies were hit by news of a major Japanese theft
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Asian shares were mixed Monday in a rather muted response to more record highs from Wall Street on Friday, a stronger session for the US Dollar may have weighed on the region’s export-heavy indexes.
Still, the Nikkei 225 benchmark ended down by just 0.01% with solid gains for the technology sector pushing South Korea’s Kospi up by 0.9%. The ASX 200 edged up by 0.4% as trade resumed after the long Australia Day Weekend.
Chinese markets failed to hold on to their gains of the morning session but hadn’t fallen very far into the close. An official at the country’s National Development and Reform Commission reportedly wrote an opinion piece suggesting that so-called black swan or grey rhino events were likely this year. For the uninitiated the first is an event impossible to predict, the second is a problem seen coming but ignored. The Hang Seng saw broad falls initially before recovering to trade just slightly lower.
The US Dollar roused itself from its lows Monday but didn’t get huge traction. Investors remain concerned that other central banks will soon join the Federal Reserve in tightening monetary policy. They’re also worried about the Administration’s commitment to a strong currency in the wake of official comment made last week.
The price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies headed South on news that Japan’s Coincheck exchange had been robbed of $500 million in NEM coins. Crude oil prices held firm through the session supported by supply cuts, while gold prices inched lower as the US Dollar edged up.
Still to come Monday is US personal income and spending data along with the Dallas Fed’s manufacturing roundup.
--- Written by David Cottle, DailyFX Research
Contact and follow David on Twitter:@DavidCottleFX