With macros in focus, the equity markets across the Asia Pacific (APAC) region were a mixed bag on Thursday morning.
The APAC markets followed the trend set by Wall Street overnight. The S&P 500 advanced by 12 basis points to 4,374.30, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average, or Dow30, gained 44.44 points to 34,933.23. However, on the other side, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite was a laggard as it shed 22 basis points to close at 14,644.95.
The movement in Wall Street was reaction to US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s dovish remarks as he stated that the US economy was “a ways off” from where it needed to be for the central bank to change its policy.
On that note, let us explore how the major APAC markets are moving today:
Japan: The benchmark Nikkei225 was in the red – down 95 basis points in the morning trade. Similarly, the Topix Index was down 72 basis points. The country is preparing itself for a spectatorless Olympics in the capital city of Tokyo, after the government declared a state of emergency due to a resurgence in the COVID-19 cases.
Australia: Despite opening in the red, the markets Down Under recovered fast from the day’s low. After shedding 63 basis points in the early morning trade, the ASX200 was trading in the green near the flatline – up 2 basis points – at the time of filing this copy. The turnaround came after the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reported a 4 basis points drop in the joblessness in the country – that stands at 4.9% right now.
China: The Chinese benchmarks seemed nervous ahead of the macro data being released by the country. Both Chinese indices were trading near the flatline – the Shanghai Composite was up 5 basis points, while the Shenzhen Component was up 9 basis points. Chinese economic data — including the country’s second quarter GDP print as well as retail sales for June — is set to be released shortly.
Other Countries: In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index was up 62 basis points, while in Taipei, the Taiwan Weighted rose 54 basis points. Elsewhere in South Korea, the KOPSI was up 23 basis points.