What is brewing in the APAC markets?

It has been a mixed week for the Asia Pacific (APAC) equity markets – at least till now. While the key benchmarks across the region tanked in the beginning of the week, they recovered most of the losses in Wednesday’s rally.

The trigger points for the swing in the markets are also quite conspicuous. Many major economies are announcing their macro numbers – monthly and quarterly. Also, the COVID-19 virus seems to be champing at the bits to resurge again. This would inevitably hit the macro numbers going forth, as a surge in the pandemic leads to truncation of the economic activity. So, with all these factors in mind, any kind of a wild swing shouldn’t be surprising.

Here is how major APAC markets are faring today:

Japan: The markets in Japan are closed on the occasion of Marine Day. However, yesterday, the benchmark Nikkei225 closed 58 basis points up, while the Topix index was firmer by 82 basis points. The country’s stock markets would be closed tomorrow as well – on the occasion of Sports Day The country is in process of holding sporting mega-event – Olympics – despite a surge in the COVID-19 pandemic. The country reported 3,758 cases yesterday.

Australia: The benchmark ASX200 opened in the green despite the futures market being in the red overnight. The benchmark was trading 63 basis points higher, despite the fact that the country seems to have been affected by a fresh wave of virus. The retail turnover of the country fell by 1.8%, and the country reported fresh 137 cases of COVID-19 yesterday.

South Korea: Over 2% gain in shares of chipmaker SK Hynix seems to have pushed up the benchmark KOPSI by 76 basis points. Shares of the second largest chipmaker surged after Singapore’s anti-trust body cleared the company’s bid to buy Intel's non-volatile business for US$9 billion, which includes the US firm's solid state drive business and a NAND flash chip plant in Dalian, China.

China: The Chinese markets seem to be confused. Without a solid trigger, the indices in the country are moving in different directions. While the Shanghai Component was down by 4 basis points, the Shenzhen Component was trading up 1.34%. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index was also down 4 basis points.

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