Strong Data On China's Trade Balance Fuels Asian Indices

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US stock indices showed mixed performance on Wednesday, with the Dow Jones Industrials Index hitting a 1-month high. The Dow Jones (US30) Index rose by 0.44%, while the S&P 500 (US500) Index was virtually unchanged for the day. The Nasdaq Technology Index (US100) closed negative 0.18% yesterday. Hawkish comments from the Fed and a rise in bond yields on Wednesday pressured stocks. On Wednesday, Boston Fed Bank President Susan Collins emphasized the need to cool the US economy to meet the central bank's 2% inflation target. Markets estimate the odds of a 25 bps rate cut at 10% for the June 12 FOMC meeting, 34% for the next meeting on July 31, and 66% for the September meeting.

Lyft shares are up more than 6% after the company reported better-than-expected first-quarter gross orders and forecast second-quarter gross orders above consensus. On the negative side, Uber Technologies fell more than 5% after reporting Q1 gross orders below consensus and forecasting weaker-than-expected gross orders in Q2.

Equity markets in Europe mostly went up yesterday. Germany's DAX (DE40) rose by 0.37%, France's CAC 40 (FR40) closed 0.69% higher, Spain's IBEX 35 (ES35) added 0.65%, and the UK's FTSE 100 (UK100) gained 0.49%.

The Bank of England (BoE) will hold a monetary policy meeting today. The Bank of England is expected to leave the interest rate at 5.25%, keeping the forward guidance unchanged and leaving options open regarding the timing of a rate cut. This will cause traders and investors to shift their attention to Bank of England Governor Bailey's speech at the press conference. If the press conference does not clarify the timing of the first rate cut, the UK index will likely come under pressure. However, if Bailey hints that the first rate cut will take place in late summer, presumably at the August meeting, it could hurt to give the index an additional boost.

WTI crude oil prices rose above $79 a barrel on Thursday, extending gains from the previous session. Official data showed a decline in US crude inventories, suggesting a tightening of supply. EIA data showed US crude inventories fell by 1.361 million barrels last week, a reversal from a 7.265 million barrel jump in the previous period, as refinery activity picked up. The outlook for OPEC+ production policy also remains highly uncertain ahead of the group's June 1 meeting.

Asian markets were mostly up on Wednesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 (JP225) closed negative 1.63% yesterday, China's FTSE China A50 (CHA50) was down 0.61% for the day, Hong Kong's Hang Seng (HK50) lost 0.90% for the day, and Australia's ASX 200 (AU200) was positive 0.14%. But mainland Chinese stocks hit new multi-month highs as investors reacted to China's trade data for April. The data showed that Chinese imports jumped 8.4% in April from a year earlier, beating predictions of 5.4%. Exports also rose 1.5%, above the 1% increase expected by analysts. The latest data was a pleasant surprise amid growing concerns that the US may impose additional tariffs on Chinese goods.

Hong Kong stocks were up 0.75% in early trading on Thursday, rising for the first time in three sessions. The city is reportedly working to attract a new set of investors from Saudi Arabia to replace investors from the US and Europe at a time of rising geopolitical tensions. The move comes after China said last month it would support companies holding IPOs in Hong Kong.

  • S&P 500 (US500) 5,187.67 −0.03 (−0.01%)
  • Dow Jones (US30) 39,056.39 +172.13 (+0.44%)
  • DAX (DE40) 18,498.38 +68.33 (+0.37%)
  • FTSE 100 (UK100) 8,354.05 +40.38 (+0.49%)
  • USD Index 105.51 +0.10 (+0.09%)

Important events today:

  • China Trade Balance (m/m) at 06:00 (GMT+3);
  • UK BoE Interest Rate Decision at 14:00 (GMT+3);
  • UK BOE Monetary Policy Report at 14:00 (GMT+3);
  • UK BoE Gov Bailey Speaks at 14:30 (GMT+3);
  • US Initial Jobless Claims (w/w) at 15:30 (GMT+3);
  • US Natural Gas Storage (w/w) at 17:30 (GMT+3).

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Disclosure: This article reflects a personal opinion and should not be interpreted as an investment advice, and/or offer, and/or a persistent request for carrying out financial transactions, ...

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