Friday’s World Markets Outlook: Asia-Pacific

Friday’s World Markets Outlook: Asia-Pacific

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell more than 5% Friday afternoon after China moved to impose new national security legislation on the city, raising fears of a revival of street protests that convulsed the financial hub for much of last year.

The benchmark is headed for its largest daily percentage drop since Y 2015. The property sector sub-index slumped 7%, set for its worst day since Y 2008.

Earlier, the Hong Kong Dollar weakened to 7.7552 Vs USD, its weakest mark since 5 May, while interbank interest rates edged up across the curve.

Australian shares edged lower Friday as escalating US-China tensions outweighed hopes of a speedy recovery for the domestic economy from C-19 coronavirus chaos-led lockdowns, although the benchmark was on track to post a 4th straight weekly gainer.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.3% to 5,532.1 by 0206 GMT, but the benchmark is set to record gains of over 2% on the week.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.4% to 10,693.39.

Japanese stocks slipped on Friday, as investors maintained a cautious stance amid the mounting Sino-U.S. friction and awaited policy cues from China’s parliamentary meeting, though the benchmark was set for a weekly gain.

The benchmark Nikkei average edged down 0.4% to 20,462.11 by the midday break, after flitting between positive and negative territories. The index has gained 2.1% so far this week, set for its 1st weekly rise in 2.

The broader Topix slipped 0.5% to 1,483.78 by the midday recess, with all but 4 of the 33 sector sub-indexes on the Tokyo exchange trading lower.

Southeast Asian stock markets slipped Friday, with Singapore losing the most, as the US and China sparring over a new Hong Kong security law kept investors away from riskier assets and led to a sharp selloff across global equities.

Shares in Singapore, a bellwether for global trade, fell 1.8% to their lowest level since 23 April and the index was poised for its 3rd consecutive weekly loss. The region’s second-largest lender Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp, dropped 4.2% to a month-low.

Shares in trade-reliant Thailand dropped 0.9%, ahead of the country’s April trade data. However, the benchmark stock index is set to post its 2nd straight weekly gainer.

The Philippines’ index was down 0.9%, set to cap 2 consecutive weekly gainers, as utilities took a beating.

Malaysian shares also fell, but were headed for their biggest weekly percentage gain since 17 April.

Financial markets in Indonesia were closed for the Idul Fitri festival.

ASIA-PACIFIC INDICES

Data as of 22 May 2020. All quotes delayed at least 15 mins.

SymbIndexTimeLastChgChg %
.TRXFLDJPPThomson Reuters Equity Japan Index2:38am EDT129.65-1.15-0.88%
.TRXFLDHKPThomson Reuters Equity HK Index2:40am EDT266.86-13.37-4.77%
.TRXFLDINPThomson Reuters Equity India Index2:40am EDT1,032.63-9.17-0.88%
.N225Nikkei Stock Average 2252:15am EDT20,388.16-164.15-0.80%
.HSIHang Seng Index2:54am EDT22,983.43-1,296.60-5.34%
.AORDASX All Ordinaries Index2:17am EDT5,608.70-52.20-0.92%
.KS11KOSPI Index2:33am EDT1,970.13-28.18-1.41%
.SETISET Composite Index1:29am EDT1,293.98-26.71-2.02%
.JKSEJakarta Composite20 May 20204,545.95-2.70-0.06%
.PSIPSE Composite Index12:50am EDT5,539.19-65.30-1.17%
.SSECShanghai Composite Index2:54am EDT2,815.84-52.09-1.82%
.BSESNS&P BSE Sensex2:54am EDT30,622.05-310.85-1.00%
.FTFBMKLCIFTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI2:56am EDT1,436.61-15.50-1.07%
.HNX30HNX 30 Index20 May 2020208.86-0.89-0.42%

Have a healthy holiday weekend, Keep the Faith!

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Paul Ebeling

Paul A. Ebeling, a polymath, excels, in diverse fields of knowledge. Pattern Recognition Analysis in Equities, Commodities and Foreign Exchange, and he it the author of "The Red Roadmaster's Technical Report on the US Major Market Indices, a highly regarded, weekly financial market commentary. He is a philosopher, issuing insights on a wide range of subjects to over a million cohorts. An international audience of opinion makers, business leaders, and global organizations recognize Ebeling as an expert.