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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!

Paul Ebeling
Paul A. Ebeling, a polymath, excels, in diverse fields of knowledge Including Pattern Recognition Analysis in Equities, Commodities and Foreign Exchange, and he is 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.   

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