Wednesday’s World Markets Outlook: Asia-Pacific

Wednesday’s World Markets Outlook: Asia-Pacific

China shares fell Wednesday as cautious investors held back ahead of the country’s annual political meetings where policymakers will discuss measures to boost the economy.

At the midday break, the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.45% to 2,885.54.

China’s blue-chip CSI300 index was down 0.49%, with its financial sector sub-index lower by 0.37%, the consumer staples sector down 0.46%, the Real Estate index down 1.17% and the healthcare sub-index down 0.68%.

Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong rose 0.1% to 9,893.25, while the Hang Seng Index was down 0.1% at 24,364.49.

The smaller Shenzhen index was down 0.65% and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was weaker by 0.51%.

Japanese shares gained Wednesday, buoyed by hopes that the government would allow economic activity to resume in response to a decline in new coronavirus infections.

The Nikkei index climbed 0.91% to 20,619.80 at 0153 GMT, approaching a two-and-a-half month high, with shares in the healthcare and technology sectors leading the advance.

Sentiment also got a boost after the Bank of Japan said it would hold an emergency meeting on Friday to decide the details of a loan programme for small firms.

There were 130 advancers and 90 decliners on the Nikkei index on Wednesday

The broader TOPIX index rose 0.48% at 1,493.13.

SKorean shares reversed earlier losses to rise Wednesday as the government rolled out more measures to stabilise corporate debt markets hammered by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Korean won weakened, while the benchmark bond yield fell.

The Seoul stock market’s main KOSPI rose 6.70 pts, or 0.34%, to 1,987.31 as of 0224 GMT.

 Australian shares fell Wednesday, weighed down by escalating tensions with its top trading partner China over a global probe into the origin of the novel coronavirus, while Wall Street’s overnight losses also dented sentiment.

The S&P/ASX 200 index lost 0.6% to 5,526.7 by 0054 GMT. It had closed at a 2-month high Tuesday.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index eased 0.6% to 10,728.55.

Asian markets may retreat Wednesday after a setback in vaccine optimism with investors refocusing on the downbeat economic outlook induced by COVID-19, economists at ING said in a note.

Leading losses in Southeast Asia, Singapore’s Straits Times Index snapped 3 sessions of gainers and fell 1%, with industrial stocks weighing the most, even as the city-state looks to restart its economy with a phased easing of restrictions.

Singapore Airlines and conglomerate Jardine Matheson Holdings shed as much as 3.2% and 2.7%, respectively.

In Indonesia, the benchmark edged lower as capital Jakarta extended coronavirus-related curbs until 4 June. The index is set to snap 2 straight sessions of gainers.

Malaysian shares ticked lower after gaining for 5 straight sessions, ahead of April inflation data.

Thai stocks inched 0.5% higher, ahead of the country’s central bank’s meeting. The Bank of Thailand is widely expected to cut interest rates by another 25 basis points, bringing the policy rate down to 0.5%.

Vietnam shares found solace in a potential free trade agreement with the European Union (EU), and edged higher.

ASIA-PACIFIC INDICES

Data as of 20 May 2020. All quotes delayed at least 15 mins.

SymbIndexTimeLastChgChg %
.TRXFLDJPPThomson Reuters Equity Japan Index2:25am EDT131.07+0.76+0.58%
.TRXFLDHKPThomson Reuters Equity HK Index2:25am EDT281.85+0.37+0.13%
.TRXFLDINPThomson Reuters Equity India Index2:25am EDT1,022.92+6.84+0.67%
.N225Nikkei Stock Average 2252:15am EDT20,595.15+161.70+0.79%
.HSIHang Seng Index2:41am EDT24,362.44-25.69-0.11%
.AORDASX All Ordinaries Index2:17am EDT5,680.10+21.30+0.38%
.KS11KOSPI Index2:30am EDT1,989.64+9.03+0.46%
.SETISET Composite Index1:29am EDT1,314.12+4.17+0.32%
.JKSEJakarta Composite2:56am EDT4,540.29-8.36-0.18%
.PSIPSE Composite Index12:50am EDT5,581.96+26.11+0.47%
.SSECShanghai Composite Index2:40am EDT2,879.94-18.63-0.64%
.BSESNS&P BSE Sensex2:40am EDT30,397.46+201.29+0.67%
.FTFBMKLCIFTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI2:40am EDT1,424.54+0.57+0.04%
.HNX30HNX 30 Index18 May 2020212.62+0.21+0.10%

Have a healthy day, 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.