Equities are sagging in Asia

A generally upbeat session in New York has reversed course in Asia, with regional equity markets easing lower this morning. The chief culprits appear to be the look below the hood of the Chinese and Australian data releases this morning, and threats of further travel bans on Chinese officials by Washington DC.

New York’s session was positive, as the coronavirus vaccine hopes lifted stock markets. The S&P 500 rose 0.91%, the Nasdaq rose 0.60%, and the Dow Jones rose 0.86%. The Twitter hack, coming after-market, has seen futures on all three indices ease by around 0.30%, adding to the gloom in Asia this morning.

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The Nikkei 225 is down 0.75% this morning, with the Kospi lower by 0.60%. Mainland exchanges are having another tough day, as retail investors retreat after the recent oversized gains, amid signals from government markets had risen too far, too soon. The Shanghai Composite has fallen 1.45%, with the CSI 300 1.70% lower. The Hang Seng has declined by 1.25%.

Across the region, Singapore is 0.55% lower, Kuala Lumpur is flat with Jakarta the only outperformer, rising 0.45% ahead of the BI rate decision this afternoon, where a cut is expected. Australia’s All Ordinaries and ASX 200 are both 0.75% lower after the drop in full-time employment.

The overall move looks corrective in Asia, and Europe may not take such a negative tone this afternoon. Vaccine hopes are increasing and based on sound progress rather than hope, and this should underpin equity markets in Europe and North America today.

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