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Asian markets extend losses with Wall St as rate hopes dim

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Asian Markets

Asian markets fell Thursday, with traders tracking losses on Wall Street fuelled by concerns over rising Treasury yields and fading hopes for US interest rate cuts.

The losses in equities extended a more than week-long sell-off that came on the back of forecast-beating data and warnings from Federal Reserve officials that they were in no rush to lower borrowing costs.

A second straight day of weak demand in a Treasuries auction forced yields — a proxy for interest rates — to extend a recent advance.

Traders are now focusing on the release Friday of the crucial personal consumption expenditures (PCE) index, the Fed’s preferred gauge of inflation, hoping for signs that prices are being brought under control enough to allow officials to ease monetary policy.

The central bank’s “Beige Book” survey of the world’s top economy suggested the outlook had become gloomier, with discretionary spending cooling and consumers more sensitive to costs in recent weeks.

It also said job gains were largely modest to negligible.

The report provided a little hope that the Fed’s tight policy stance was having some effect, though with inflation still stubbornly well above its two percent target, rate-cut hopes remain dimmed.

Still, Cantor Fitzgerald’s Eric Johnston said the latest spike in Treasury yields might not be entirely down to sticky prices.

“Bond yields may be moving higher mainly due to supply of bonds and the continued massive deficit — and not because of a concern around inflation or strong economy,” he said.

All three main indexes retreated in New York, with the Dow off more than one percent.

And Asia again followed the US lead.

Tokyo gave up more than one percent, while there were also losses in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Seoul, Wellington, Taipei, Manila and Jakarta.

Sydney was in the red, with mining giant BHP giving back around 1.5 percent after giving up on its proposed $49-billion takeover of British rival Anglo American, which would have been one of the biggest in the industry and created a copper titan.

Hopes for a softening of the Fed’s monetary policy have been weighed by comments from a succession of decision-makers saying they wanted to see more data convincing them that inflation was on its way back to two percent.

The latest was Atlanta Fed chief Raphael Bostic, who saw a cut potentially coming at the end of the year, though many of the indicators he closely watched were moving in the right direction.

“My outlook is that if things go according to what I expect — inflation goes slowly, the labour market slowly and orderly moves back into a sort of a weaker stance, but a stable-growth stance,” he told a conference.

“I’m looking at the end of the year, the fourth quarter, as the time where we might actually think about and be prepared to reduce rates.”
– Key figures around 0230 GMT –

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: DOWN 1.5 percent at 37,974.47 (break)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng Index: DOWN 0.7 percent at 18,353.13

Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 0.1 percent at 3,108.62

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 157.36 from 157.70 yen on Wednesday

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.0797 from $1.0804

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2694 from $1.2702

Euro/pound: UP at 85.07 from 85.03 pence

West Texas Intermediate: FLAT at $79.24 per barrel

Brent North Sea Crude: UP 0.1 percent at $83.68 per barrel

New York – Dow: DOWN 1.1 percent at 38,441.54 (close)

London – FTSE 100: DOWN 0.9 percent at 8,183.70 (close)

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Weekly U.S. Stock Market Reports Diverse Performance

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Reviewing the U.S. Stock Markets, the Nasdaq Composite, recorded a decent hike of 555 points, reaching a closing value of 17,688 points by the end of the week. Similarly, the S&P 500 index showed a positive trend, gaining 85 point to settle at 5,431 points. Meanwhile, DJIA Index experienced a notable drop, losing 209 points during the week and concluding at 38,589 points after a week of gaining.

In contrast, Russell 3000 Index saw a gain in week performance, with a slight hike of 40 points to reach 3,077 points by the end of the week.

Moving to Russell 2000 Index, demonstrated a notable drop of 20 point, ending the week at 2,006 points.

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Weekly European Stocks Shows Negative Result

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In the Outgoing week, the European stock market displayed a massive losing performance.

Here is the data on the weekly performance of the European Stock Market, The STOXX Europe 600 index, which is considered a leading benchmark for the European market and covers approximately 90 percent of the market capitalization across 17 countries, reported a drop of 12.5 points to close at 511.05.

The United Kingdom’s FTSE 100, one of the most widely followed indices in Europe, also showed a significant drop, losing 99 points or finishing the session at 8,146.

In Germany, the DAX 30 index, lost by 555 points to reach 18,002, while France’s CAC 498 decreased by 9 points to stop at 7,503 at the end of the trading day.

Italy’s FTSE MIB, which covers the top 40 stocks traded on the Milan Stock Exchange, decreased by 1,995 points to 32,665. However, Spain’s IBEX 35, added by 412 points, to close at 10,992.

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South Asian Stocks Reports Gaining Performance in Recent Week

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A review of South Asian stock markets shows that India’s Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) index BSE Sensex has added 299 points during the week. At the end of the week, the index stood at 76,992 points. On the other hand, the Nifty-50 index of the country’s National Stock Exchange gained by 175 points last week. At the end of the week, the index stood at 23,465 points.

Pakistan Stock Exchange Index ‘KSE 100’, shed 2,926 points last week. After a week of losing, the index settled at 76,742 points.

On the other hand, The Sri Lankan stock market index adds, and the Colombo Stock Exchange index ‘ASPI’ increased by 208 points in a week. After a week the index settled at 12,314 points.

Bhutan’s stock market index ‘BSI’ added 68 points hence the index stood at 1,515 points throughout the whole week. Nepal’s ‘NEPSE’ gain 35 points, therefore the index stands at 2,112 points.

Hence Dhaka Stock Exchange: The benchmark index ‘DSEX’ dropped by 119.51 points or 2.28 percent, in the outgoing week. At the end of the week, the index stands at 5,117 points.

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