Asian Stocks Fall in Busy Week for Policymakers: Markets Wrap

Asian Stocks Fall in Busy Week for Policymakers: Markets Wrap

Asian equities retreated following tech-led declines on Wall Street as investors looked ahead to a week that includes Federal Reserve and Bank of Japan meetings.

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(Bloomberg) — Asian equities retreated following tech-led declines on Wall Street as investors looked ahead to a week that includes Federal Reserve and Bank of Japan meetings. 

Shares fell in Hong Kong, Australia and South Korea. China’s CSI 300 Index briefly touched its lowest level this year before slightly climbing back up as the market attempted to maintain optimism from last week’s upbeat economic data. Regional weakness extended the losses in the MSCI Asia Pacific Index to 0.4%. 

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Japanese markets are shut for a holiday, with the central bank due to meet later this week. Contracts for US shares edged higher at the start of Asian hours.

Property sector remains a concern in China as home prices dropped at a faster pace in August, data showed last week. “Even under such a strong stimulus, we still seeing the property prices falling,” Hebe Chen, an analyst at IG Markets Ltd said on Bloomberg Television. “That’s a dangerous sign for me.”

Stocks fell in the US Friday, with a $4 trillion options maturity amplifying volatility, pushing up the equity-volatility VIX gauge from its lowest level since 2020. Big tech losses were led by Nvidia Corp. and Meta Platforms Inc. which both fell more than 3.5%. The S&P 500 erased its weekly gain, while the Nasdaq 100 slid 1.8%. The Fed’s policy decision is scheduled for Wednesday.

Oil gained for a third day, with Brent trading at around $94 per barrel. Traders will be watching Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, who is due to address an industry conference on the kingdom’s crude policy and outlook on Monday.

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Meanwhile, piles of derivatives contracts tied to stocks, index options and futures expired Friday — compelling traders to roll over their existing positions or to start new ones. This time, it coincided with the rebalancing of benchmark indexes including the S&P 500, another catalyst for more share transactions. 

There is no cash trading of Treasuries in Asian hours Monday with Japan shut for a holiday. Treasury futures were down after yields rose Friday, with the rate-sensitive two-year rate closing above 5%. The greenback weakened against most of its G-10 peers while the Australian dollar and yen traded within narrow ranges. 

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In Asia, distressed Chinese developer Country Garden Holdings Co. faces more tests Monday including a vote on stretching payment of a local bond by three years. Meanwhile, union workers at Chevron Corp.’s liquefied natural gas facilities in Western Australia continued rolling 24-hour stoppages for a second day, prolonging uncertainty over global supply of the fuel.

US inflation expectations fell to the lowest in more than two years as consumers grew more optimistic about the economic outlook, data showed Friday. A measure of New York state factory activity unexpectedly expanded amid new orders.

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A resilient US economy will prompt the Fed to pencil in one more interest-rate hike this year and stay at the peak level next year for longer than previously expected, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

“The Fed will be sufficiently hawkish so that markets don’t think it is done hiking,” said Win Thin, global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., referring to this week’s US policy decision. Inflation continues to be elevated, the economy is still growing above trend and the labor market remains extremely tight so “simply put, current conditions warrant further tightening, period,” he said.

Key events this week:

  • Apple expected to release the iPhone’s latest operating system, iOS 17, Monday
  • Reserve Bank of Australia issues minutes of September’s policy meeting, Tuesday
  • OECD releases interim economic outlook report on the global economy, Tuesday
  • Eurozone CPI, Tuesday
  • Bloomberg Future of Finance Conference in Frankfurt, with speakers to include German Finance Minister Christian Lindner, Tuesday
  • ECB Executive Board member Frank Elderson speaks, Tuesday
  • Bank of Canada Deputy Governor Sharon Kozicki speaks, Tuesday
  • Japan trade, Wednesday
  • China loan prime rates, Wednesday
  • UK CPI, Wednesday
  • Federal Reserve policy meeting, followed by Chair Jerome Powell’s news conference, Wednesday
  • Bank of Canada issues summary of September’s policy meeting, Wednesday
  • Bank of England policy meeting, Thursday
  • ECB Executive Board member Isabel Schnabel chairs panel, Thursday
  • ECB chief economist Philip Lane speaks, Thursday
  • Japan CPI, PMIs, Friday
  • Bank of Japan rate decision, Friday
  • Australia PMIs, Friday
  • China’s Bund Summit, Friday
  • Eurozone S&P Global Eurozone PMIs, Friday
  • UK S&P Global / CIPS UK Manufacturing PMI, Friday
  • ECB Vice President Luis de Guindos speaks, Friday
  • US S&P Global Manufacturing PMI, Friday
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Some of the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • S&P 500 futures rose 0.1% as of 10:55 a.m. Tokyo time. The S&P 500 fell 1.2% on Friday
  • Nasdaq 100 futures were little changed. The Nasdaq 100 fell 1.8%
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.7%
  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 1%
  • The Shanghai Composite fell 0.2%
  • Euro Stoxx 50 futures fell 0.1%

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed
  • The euro was little changed at $1.0663
  • The Japanese yen was little changed at 147.77 per dollar
  • The offshore yuan fell 0.1% to 7.2880 per dollar
  • The Australian dollar was little changed at $0.6435

Cryptocurrencies

  • Bitcoin was little changed at $26,461.66
  • Ether fell 0.1% to $1,616.05

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries advanced five basis points to 4.33%
  • Japan’s 10-year yield declined one basis point to 0.700%
  • Australia’s 10-year yield advanced 10 basis points to 4.21%

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.5% to $91.20 a barrel
  • Spot gold rose 0.1% to $1,925.99 an ounce

This story was produced with the assistance of Bloomberg Automation.

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