Hang Seng Index, ASX 200, Nikkei Index: Hang Seng Targets an 8 Day Winning Streak

Bob Mason
Published: May 2, 2024, 22:55 GMT+00:00

Key Points:

  • The Hang Seng Index extended its winning streak to seven on Thursday (May 2), leading the ASX 200 into positive territory.
  • On Friday (May 3), overnight US corporate earnings and economic data will set the tone for the Asian session.
  • Services sector PMI, home loan data from Australia, and corporate earnings also need consideration.
Hang Seng Index, ASX 200, Nikkei Index

In this article:

US Equity Markets: Unit Labor Costs and Nonfarm Productivity

On Thursday (May 2), the US labor market was in focus again. Unit labor costs increased by 4.7% quarter-on-quarter in Q1 2024 after stalling in Q4 2023. Nonfarm productivity advanced by 0.3% quarter-on-quarter after rising by 3.5% in Q4 2023.

Beyond the economic calendar, Apple Inc. (AAPL) released its earnings results, driving buyer demand for tech stocks.

On Thursday, the Dow advanced by 0.85%. The Nasdaq Composite Index and the S&P 500 saw gains of 1.51% and 0.91%, respectively. The US economic indicators and equity market moves will set the tone for the Friday Asian session.

Asian Economic Calendar: Aussie Services, Home Loans, and Earnings

On Friday (May 3), economic indicators from Australia could influence buyer appetite for ASX 200-listed stocks.

Finalized Services PMI and home loan figures will be in focus. According to the preliminary survey, the Australian Services PMI slipped from 54.4 to 54.2 in April. An upward revision could fuel further speculation about an RBA interest rate hike. A more hawkish RBA rate path would pressure rate-sensitive ASX 200-listed stocks.

However, home loan figures also need consideration. Economists forecast home loans to rise by 1% in March after increasing by 1.6% in February.

Beyond the economic calendar, corporate earnings releases will move the dial. Macquarie is among the big names to release earnings results on Friday (May 3).

Commodities: Crude Oil, Gold, and Iron Ore

On Thursday (May 2), gold spot (XAU/USD) declined by 0.69% to close the session at $2,304. WTI crude oil prices ended the session down modestly to $78.95.

On the Singapore Futures Exchange, iron ore prices were down 1.18% on Friday (May 3).

The Futures Markets

On Friday, the ASX 200 was up 35 points. The markets in Japan are closed on Friday for Constitution Day.

ASX 200

ASX 200 ended Thursday in positive territory.
ASX200 030524 Daily Chart

The ASX 200 advanced by 0.23% on Thursday (May 2). Bank, gold, and bank stocks contributed to the gains, with the S&P/ASX All Tech Index rising by 0.12%.

Gold-related stocks tracked the gold spot gains from Wednesday. Northern Star Resources Ltd. (NST) and Evolution Mining Ltd (EVN) ended Thursday with gains of 0.97% and 0.77%, respectively.

National Australia Bank Ltd. (NAB) advanced by 1.45%, with Westpac Banking Corp. (WBC) gaining 0.93%. ANZ Group Holdings Ltd. (ANZ) and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) saw gains of 0.53% and 0.95%, respectively.

However, mining stocks had a mixed session, while oil stocks tracked WTI prices into the red.

BHP Group Ltd (BHP) and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (FMG) rose by 0.14% and 0.99%, respectively. Rio Tinto Group Lld. (RIO) declined by 0.17%.

Woodside Energy Group Ltd (WDS) and Santos Ltd (STO) ended the session down 1.20% and 0.80%, respectively.

Hang Seng Index

Hang Seng Index extended its winning streak to seven sessions.
HSI 030524 Daily Chart

The Hang Seng Index rallied 2.50% on Thursday. Real estate and tech stocks contributed to the gains. The Hang Seng Mainland Properties Index (HSMPI) and Hang Seng Tech Index (HSTECH) surged 4.49% and 4.45%, respectively.

Alibaba (9988) and Tencent (0700) rallied 2.35% and 3.80%, respectively.

However, Bank stocks had a mixed session. HSBC (0005) and China Construction Bank (0939) saw gains of 3.36% and 0.59%, respectively. Industrial Commercial Bank (1398) ended the session flat.

The Nikkei 225

Nikkei bucked the trend on Thursday.
Nikkei 030524 Daily Chart

(Graph for reference purposes only)

The Nikkei 225 ended the Thursday session down 0.10%.

Bank stocks had a negative Thursday session. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. (8316) and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. (8306) fell by 1.38% and 0.61%, respectively.

It was a mixed session for the main components of the Nikkei 225.

Fast Retailing Co. Ltd. (9983) declined by 0.90%, with Sony Group Corporation (6758) falling by 0.31%.

However, Tokyo Electron Ltd. (8035) and KDDI Corp. (9433) rose by 0.20% and 0.43%, respectively. Moreover, Softbank Group Corp. (9948) advanced by 0.09%.

For upcoming economic events, refer to our economic calendar.

About the Author

Bob Masonauthor

With over 20 years of experience in the finance industry, Bob has been managing regional teams across Europe and Asia and focusing on analytics across both corporate and financial institutions. Currently he is covering developments relating to the financial markets, including currencies, commodities, alternative asset classes, and global equities.

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