Strong China PMI sends Chinese equities higher

Asian stock markets are painting contrasting pictures today. Strong China PMI’s have seen the Shanghai Composite and CSI 300 jump by 1.0%. A fall of 1.20% by the Japanese yen on Friday has boosted the export facing Nikkei 225 by 1.95%, with South Korea’s Kospi flat on the day.

The picture is rather glummer elsewhere. Covid-19 movement threats are weighing on Kuala Lumpur, down 0.85%. The fallout on bank dividends as negative corporate news over the weekend sees Singapore falling 1.15%. A renewal of strict Covid-19 restrictions in Manila has seen the PSE1 plummet 3.75%. The story is less draconian in Hong Kong, but a one-year delay of local elections and increasing Covid-19 restrictions see the Hang Seng falling 1.15%.

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A similar story is playing out in Australia with Melbourne escalating its Covid-19 lockdowns to just short of maximum over the weekend, with more restrictions across the rest of Victoria. Local stock markets have been surprisingly resilient, given that Victoria is 25% of Australian GDP. For that, Australia can probably thank a more positive US session on Friday, with the ASX 200 and All Ordinaries up 0.10%. Nevertheless, the situation in Victoria and the possible escalation of the outbreaks in Sydney are eroding confidence in the Lucky Country.

With big-tech earnings out of the way, US markets may well pause for breath also this week. The Nasdaq must take out its double top at 11,007.00 to keep momentum across the major indices from flagging. A failure to do so will increase the noise from the correction drums. The Dow Jones is flirting with support at its 200-day moving average here at 26,228.00. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 has been stubbornly locked between 2200.00 and 2300.00 for all of July. It falls to the Nasdaq to provide the music to keep the party going.

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