Friday’s World Markets Outlook: Asia-Pacific

Japan’s share benchmark Nikkei hit its highest closing mark in nearly 6 wks Friday, tracking gains in US futures, supported by reports of a potential coronavirus treatment and President Trump’s guidelines for re-opening the economy.

The Nikkei average advanced 3.2% on short-covering to finish at 19,897.26, its highest closing since 9 March, om the week, the index eked out a 2.0% gain.

The Nikkei’s volatility index, a measure of investors’ volatility expectations based on option pricing and considered to be a fear gauge, dropped to as low as 35.31, its 6-wk low, reflecting the modest risk-on mood in the market.

 Indian stocks trimmed gains on Friday as investors digested a cut in key interest rate by the country’s central bank aimed at easing financial stress stemming from the world’s biggest nationwide lockdown.

The Reserve Bank of India cut its reverse repo rate by 25 bpts in a bid to push banks to deploy excess funds toward lending, just 2 wks after it cut the rates by 90 bpts.

Both the NSE Nifty 50 index and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex, which were up over 3%, pared gains as RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das announced the measures.

The Nifty was last up 1.66% at 9,136.50 by 0620 GMT, while the Sensex was up 1.7% at 31,094.15.

Australia and New Zealand stocks rose to their highest marks in more than a month Friday as new guidelines allowing for a reopening of the US economy supported risk sentiment and eased some concerns over the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.

The Aussie S&P/ASX 200 index climbed 1.9% at 5,518 by 0037 GMT, its highest since March 12.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index gained 2.4% at 10,725.2, rising for a 4th session ever. The bourse is on course for its biggest weekly gainer ever.

Shares of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) jumped as much as 6% Friday after the world’s largest contract chipmaker reported a near doubling in first-quarter net profit.

TSMC, whose clients include tech giants such as iPhone maker Apple Inc, saw profit in the January-to-March period soar 90.6% from a year earlier, beating market forecasts. It also marked the company’s strongest quarterly profit growth in nearly 10 years.

TSMC said Thursday the coronavirus was expected to hit demand for electronics, including smartphones, but it would be balanced by strong demand for faster chips.

Philippine shares jumped more than 4% Friday after its central bank cut key rates to shore up its economy, while the Singapore index gained as its annual exports growth beat expectations, the Philippine index rebounded from the previous session’s steep fall and added as much as 4.4% after its central bank cut its key interest rate by 50 bpts to support its economy damaged by the outbreak.

In Singapore, the benchmark index gained as much as 2.3%, and hit its highest mark in over a month. Its annual exports growth accelerated by 17.6% in March, beating expectations.

Thai shares climbed up to 2.8%, underpinned by gains in financial and energy sectors.

Indonesian equities rose as much as 3%, with financials leading gains. PT Bank Central Asia Tbk and PT Bank Mandiri (Persero) Tbk rose 3.8% and 5%, respectively.

Shares in Malaysia climbed 1.9% higher and touched their highest marks in over a month.


Data as of 17 April 2020. All quotes delayed at least 15 mins.

SymbIndexTimeLastChgChg %
.TRXFLDJPPThomson Reuters Equity Japan Index2:43am EDT126.49+1.84+1.48%
.TRXFLDHKPThomson Reuters Equity HK Index2:43am EDT274.76+4.42+1.63%
.TRXFLDINPThomson Reuters Equity India Index2:43am EDT1,048.36+13.32+1.29%
.N225Nikkei Stock Average 2252:15am EDT19,897.26+607.06+3.15%
.HSIHang Seng Index2:59am EDT24,389.36+382.91+1.60%
.AORDASX All Ordinaries Index2:17am EDT5,544.70+77.10+1.41%
.KS11KOSPI Index2:33am EDT1,914.53+57.46+3.09%
.SETISET Composite Index1:29am EDT1,228.31+28.16+2.35%
.JKSEJakarta Composite3:14am EDT4,623.70+143.09+3.19%
.PSIPSE Composite Index12:50am EDT5,789.97+264.37+4.78%
.SSECShanghai Composite Index2:58am EDT2,837.48+17.55+0.62%
.BSESNS&P BSE Sensex2:59am EDT31,104.82+502.21+1.64%
.FTFBMKLCIFTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI2:59am EDT1,413.71+27.18+1.96%
.HNX30HNX 30 Index15 Apr 2020205.97+0.51+0.25%

Have a healthy weekend, Keep the Faith!

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