Market Talk – Wednesday, March 31

ASIA:

The United States strongly condemns moves by China to further reduce political participation and representation in Hong Kong and is deeply concerned by a second delay in the territory’s Legislative Council elections, the U.S. State Department said on Tuesday. The measures are part of Beijing’s efforts to consolidate its increasingly authoritarian grip on Hong Kong following the imposition of a national security law in June, which critics see as a tool to crush dissent. Legislative Council elections, already postponed once to September with the government citing coronavirus, would be held in December, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said.

China’s manufacturing activity expanded at the quickest pace in three months in March as factories cranked up production after a brief lull during the Lunar New Year holidays, with improving global demand adding further momentum to a solid economic recovery. The official manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) rose to 51.9 from 50.6 in February, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Wednesday, remaining above the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction for the 13th straight month. The official PMI, which largely focuses on big and state-owned firms, showed both the sub-indexes for production and new orders stood at the highest level since December.

The major Asian stock markets had a mixed day today:

  • NIKKEI 225 decreased 253.90 points or -0.86% to 29,178.80
  • Shanghai decreased 14.77 points or -0.43% to 3,441.91
  • Hang Seng decreased 199.15 points or -0.70% to 28,378.35
  • ASX 200 increased 52.30 points or 0.78% to 6,790.70
  • Kospi decreased 8.58 points or -0.28% to 3,061.42
  • SENSEX decreased 627.43 points or -1.25% to 49,509.15
  • Nifty50 decreased 154.40 points or -1.04% to 14,690.70

The major Asian currency markets had a mixed day today:

  • AUDUSD increased 0.00102 or 0.13% to 0.76159
  • NZDUSD increased 0.00162 or 0.23% to 0.70041
  • USDJPY increased 0.16 or 0.14% to 110.49
  • USDCNY decreased 0.01056 or -0.16% to 6.56143

Precious Metals:

  • Gold increased 18.39 USD/t oz. or 1.09% to 1,703.19
  • Silver increased 0.27 USD/t. oz or 1.13% to 24.287

Some economic news from last night:

China:

  • Chinese Composite PMI (Mar) increased from 51.6 to 55.3
  •  
  • Manufacturing PMI (Mar) increased from 50.6 to 51.9
  •  
  • Non-Manufacturing PMI (Mar) increased from 51.4 to 56.3

Japan:

  • Industrial Production (MoM) (Feb) decreased from 4.3% to -2.1%
  • Industrial Production forecast 1m ahead (MoM) (Mar) decreased from 2.1% to -1.9%
  • Industrial Production forecast 2m ahead (MoM) (Apr) increased from -6.1% to 9.3%

South Korea:

  • Manufacturing BSI Index (Apr) increased from 83 to 91
  • Industrial Production (MoM) (Feb) increased from -1.2% to 4.3%
  • Industrial Production (YoY) (Feb) decreased from 7.8% to 0.9%
  • Retail Sales (MoM) decreased from 1.6% to -0.8%
  • Service Sector Output (MoM) (Feb) increased from -0.1% to 1.1%
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