Asian Stocks Wilt As Wall St Futures Slip, US GDP In Sights
Asian Stocks Talking Points:
- Equity indexes were broadly lower as the week bowed out
- A lack of local news kept old themes driving, that meant focus on the US
- Currencies focused on forthcoming GDP numbers out of the world’s largest economy
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Asia-Pacific equity mainboards were all lower on Friday afternoon as US stock futures again pointed to losses, suggesting that the gains of the previous session will be temporary.
There was no new story to deepen the gloom in Asian trading hours, but the old backdrop of trade-war jitters, rising US interest rates and various geopolitical uncertainties continues to render risk-appetite extremely fragile. So often the region’s bellwether, the Nikeki 225 had shed 1.2% as its close approaches, with the Hang Seng down by 1.4% and the Kospi more than 2% in the red. The ASX 200 lost 0.7% with Shanghai doing the relative best. Even it was down by 0.6%.
The ASX 200 flirted with new lows for 2018, and also the bottom of a very resilient trading range which marked much of last year’s proceedings.
Growth-sensitive currencies suffered, as they often do when investors get jittery. The Australian and New Zealand Dollars were in the firing line especially. They both fell against the US Dollar while the haven Yen caught a modest bid. The Yuan was weaker two, with Bloomberg reporting a new ten-year high for USD/CNY.
Trade was perhaps a little subdued as investors looked toward US Gross Domestic Product data for the third quarter. They’re coming up in the US session. The markets are looking for 3.3% on-quarter annualized growth, which if seen will mark the best run of back-to-back quarters since 2014.
Still to come on Friday apart from those US growth figures is the University of Michigan’s snapshot of consumer confidence. Monetary policy fans can await European Central Bank President Mario Draghi who is due to speak in Brussels.
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--- Written by David Cottle, DailyFX Research
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