Indian Morning Briefing: Asian Markets Broadly Lower at Start of the Week

DJIA         33745.69   199.37   0.59% 
Nasdaq       11146.06     1.10   0.01% 
S&P 500       3965.34    18.78   0.48% 
FTSE 100      7385.52    38.98   0.53% 
Nikkei Stock 27847.74   -52.03  -0.19% 
Hang Seng    17434.85  -557.69  -3.10% 
Kospi         2411.66   -32.82  -1.34% 
SGX Nifty*   18251.50   -96     -0.52% 
*Nov contract 
USD/JPY  140.43-44   +0.03% 
Range    140.50   140.17 
EUR/USD  1.0289-92   -0.34% 
Range    1.0346   1.0289 
CBOT Wheat Dec $8.032 per bushel 
Spot Gold   $1,750.32/oz Unch 
Nymex Crude (NY) $80.26  -$1.38 

Stocks rose Friday, capping a tumultuous week with investors assessing the outlook for interest rates.

The S&P 500 gained 18.78 points, or 0.5%, to 3965.34, while the Nasdaq Composite edged up 1.10 points, or less than 0.1%, or 11146.06. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ticked up 199.37 points, or 0.6%, to 33745.69. All three indexes are down two of the past three weeks.

Of the 11 sectors within the S&P 500, nine rose on Friday. Stocks in energy and communication services were the only laggards.


Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average edged 0.2% higher to 27952.96 tracking last Friday’s gains in most US equity markets. Wall Street’s resilient moves suggest investors are waiting for more clues about the US inflation trajectory and the Fed’s clarification of its monetary policy, said Tina Teng, markets analyst at CMC Markets. Gains on the Nikkei were led by a mixed bag of companies with Sumitomo Metal Mining climbing 3.4%, Yakult Honsha adding 1.4% and Mitsubishi Corp. up 2.0%. USD/JPY was at 140.29, compared with 139.82 as of Friday’s Tokyo stock-market close.

South Korea’s benchmark Kospi fell 0.7% to 2426.99 in early trade, dragged down by shipbuilding and chemicals stocks. Fading hopes for a slowdown in the US Fed’s policy tightening and preliminary trade data showing Korean exports declining for November were weighing on sentiment. Foreign investors were net sellers, as USD/KRW was 0.4% higher at 1,345.30. Among the steepest decliners were shipbuilders Samsung Heavy Industries and Hyundai Heavy Industries.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was down 2.7% to 17514.34 in morning trade amid a surge in Covid-19 cases in China. Risk-on sentiment in Hong Kong and China faded toward the end of last week as investors turned cautious about the rise in coronavirus cases, lowering expectations that Beijing will pivot away from its zero-Covid measures, Saxo Markets said.

Chinese shares fell in early trade, as elevated Covid-19 cases across the country raise the prospect of further mobility restrictions that could damp economic activities. The PBOC kept the benchmark lending rates unchanged this month, as was widely expected by the market. Consumer-related stocks were among the more heavily sold off sectors, while property developers weakened. The Shanghai Composite Index dropped 1.0% to 3065.07, the Shenzhen Composite Index retreated 0.9% and the ChiNext Price Index was 0.8% lower.


Most Asian currencies weakened against USD on risk-off sentiment spurred by losses in US stock futures and in regional equity markets. CNY was expected to stay volatile although in a range amid soaring Covid-19 cases in China, MUFG Bank analysts said. This development along with geopolitical concerns will affect movements among Asian currencies this week, the analysts added. USD/CNY rose 0.7% to 7.1671 and USD/SGD gained 0.2% to 1.3769 while AUD/USD was down 0.2% at 0.6657.

MYR weakened against USD and SGD in early Asian trading on fears of a hung parliament in Malaysia following a general election over the weekend. Malaysia was entering uncharted territory after a tightly contested general election delivered to a hung parliament, CGS-CIMB said. There’s no clear winner and a surprising surge in support for Islamist party PAS, it added. USD/MYR was up 0.4% at 4.5710; SGD/MYR was 0.3% higher at 3.3220.


Gold was steady in the early Asian session, but may be weighed by fears of the hawkish Fed monetary-policy stance, analysts said. Several Fed officials continue to push back on the notion that they may soon be ready to pause the US central bank’s tightening cycle, Oanda said. The path of least resistance for gold appears to be lower, Oanda added. Spot gold was little changed at $1,750.32/oz.


Crude oil falls in the morning Asian session amid China demand concerns. The near-term outlook for oil seems to have worsened, says Tapas Strickland, head of Market Economics at NAB, in morning commentary, noting uncertainty around China’s demand given surging Covid-19 cases. Analysts continue to cite low vaccination rates among the elderly as being a big hurdle to China’s reopening, Strickland adds. Front-month WTI crude oil futures are 0.1% lower at $80.00/bbl; front-month Brent crude oil futures are 1.0% lower at $86.73/bbl.

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 20, 2022 22:15 ET (03:15 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2022 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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