Hang Seng Index, ASX200, Nikkei 225: Bears in Control

Bob Mason
Updated: Apr 24, 2023, 04:33 GMT+00:00

It was a bearish Monday morning, with the Hang Seng Index struggling. US economic indicators fanned hawkish Fed bets ahead of a pivotal week.

Asian equities are in a bearish mood - FX Empire

In this article:

  • It was a slow start to the week for the Asian markets, with the Nikkei, Hang Seng Index, and ASX seeing red.
  • Caution returned as investors looked toward a busy economic and earnings calendar that will likely dictate the Fed’s near-term monetary policy outlook.
  • There were no economic indicators to distract investors from the reality of sticky inflation that could still unravel hopes of the global economy avoiding a recession.

Market Overview

It was a mixed morning for the Asian markets. The Hang Seng Index led the way down, with the ASX 200 and Nikkei also struggling.

US economic indicators from Friday resonated, with the better-than-expected private sector PMI numbers fueling bets of a post-May Fed interest rate hike.

However, US economic indicators will influence this week. US GDP and inflation figures will draw interest. For the equity markets, corporate earnings will also move the dial. Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL), (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), and Microsoft (MSFT) are among the big names delivering earnings results.

After modest gains on Friday, the US futures were in the red this morning. The NASDAQ and Dow Jones were down 40.50 and 112 points, respectively. The S&P 500 mini fell by 13.

ASX 200

ASX sees modest loss.
ASX 200 240423 Daily Chart

The ASX 200 was down 0.03% this morning, with mining stocks a drag.

The big-4 had a mixed morning. The National Australia Bank (NAB) and The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) led the way, rising by 0.54% and 0.63%, respectively, with Westpac Banking Corp (WBC) gaining 0.18%. ANZ Group (ANZ) bucked the trend, falling by 0.08%.

Mining stocks had a bearish morning. Rio Tinto (RIO) and BHP Group Ltd (BHP) were down by 2.72% and 1.89%, respectively, with Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) falling by 2.54%. Newcrest Mining (NCM) fell by 1.00%.

Oil stocks also saw red. Woodside Energy Group (WDS) and Santos Ltd (STO) fell by 0.40% and 0.84%, respectively. Brent Crude was down 0.93% to $80.90 this morning.

Hang Seng Index

Hang Seng Index struggled.
HSI 240423 Daily Chart

The Hang Seng was down 0.59% this morning, with Fed Fear leaving investors cautious.

Considering the main components, Tencent Holdings Ltd (HK:0700) and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (HK:9988) were down by 1.15% and 1.08%, respectively.

It was also a bearish morning for banking stocks. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (HK:1398) and China Construction Bank (HK: 0939) saw losses of 1.17% and 1.32%, respectively, with HSBC Holdings PLC down by 0.89%.

CNOOC (HK: 0883) bucked the bearish trend, rising by 0.48% despite the morning fall in crude oil prices.

Nikkei 225

Nikkei sees red despite a stronger USD/JPY.
JP 225 240423 Daily Chart

The Nikkei 225 was down 0.14% this morning despite a stronger USD/JPY. There were no economic indicators to influence.

Bank stocks struggled, with Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (8316) and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group seeing losses of 0.37% and 0.32%, respectively.

Looking at the main components, SoftBank Group Corp. (9984) led the way, rising by 1.70%, with Fast Retailing Co (9983) gaining 0.63%.

KDDI Corp (9433) and Sony Corp (6758) also found support, seeing gains of 0.15% and 0.16%, respectively, while Tokyo Electron Limited (8035) bucked the trend, falling by 1.80%.

Check out our economic calendar for today’s economic events.

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.