Asian Stocks Wilt Friday With Nikkei Leading, US Data Loom
Asian Stocks Talking Points:
- Stocks were lower across the region following another Wall Street slide
- The Nikkei 225 was hardest hit, with financials wilting
- The US Dollar remained shaky as investors re-assess rate hike chances
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Asia Pacific stocks were predictably weaker Friday following another swallow dive on Wall Street in the previous session.
The Nikkei 225 lead fallers with its own financial sector gleaning little hope from this week’s well-expected decision by the Bank of Japan to leave monetary policy alone again. Worries about global growth in the year to come did the rest.
The Japanese benchmark was down 1.5% as its weekly close loomed, with Shanghai down 1.1% and the Hang Seng off by 0.2%. In Sydney the ASX 200 slipped 0.7%. Banks were in the red there, too, as markets begin to suspect that interest rates may yet fall from their record lows if the global economy doesn’t pick up.
The ASX has fallen precipitously from its August peaks and, on its monthly chart, looks reliant on support from June-October, 2016 to stop further, sharper falls.
The US Dollar remained defensive as investors mull a more restrained pace of interest rate rises from the Federal Reserve next year, in the wake of this week’s hike.
Crude oil prices fully shared in equities Thursday gloom, with demand worries continuing to weigh heavily. Gold prices slipped back a little in Asia but remained quite well supported by broader growth concerns.
The day’s remaining data highlights are likely to be US durable goods order levels along with the final personal consumption and expenditure figures for November. There’s another look at overall third quarter Gross Domestic Product, too, with GDP releases also due for the UK, Canada and France.
UK public borrowing figures are due, as is Mexico’s Consumer Price Index. The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index will bring the data week to a close.
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--- Written by David Cottle, DailyFX Research
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