Hang Seng Index, ASX200, Nikkei 225: Hang Seng in Breakout Mode

Bob Mason
Published: Mar 22, 2023, 05:04 GMT+00:00

It was a bullish Wednesday morning, with the Hang Seng Index leading the way. Sentiment toward the banking sector drove demand for riskier assets.

Asian equities enjoy a bullish morning - FX Empire

In this article:

  • It was a bullish morning for the Asian markets, with the Nikkei and the Hang Seng Index leading the way.
  • The Asian markets took their cues from the US markets, with bank stocks driving demand for riskier assets as fears of a banking crisis ebbed away.
  • There were no economic indicators to influence sentiment, leaving investors to look ahead to the Fed monetary policy decision and projections later today.

Market Overview

It was a bullish morning for the Asian markets. The Hang Seng Index and the Nikkei 225 led the morning breakout.

Investors responded to a bullish US session, with the US government and regulators wiping out fears of a banking crisis. US bank stocks rallied, supporting the bullish morning session. Crude oil also responded to the shift in sentiment, with Brent Crude returning to the $75 handle on Tuesday.

The NASDAQ Composite Index rose by 1.58% on Tuesday, with the Dow and S&P 500 seeing gains of 0.98% and 1.30%, respectively.

However, the morning gains came despite uncertainty ahead of the Fed interest rate decision, FOMC projections, and the Fed Chair Powell press conference. The markets expect a 25-basis point Fed rate hike, a post-March pause, and an H2 2023 rate cut.

ASX 200

ASX 200 on the move.
ASX 200 220323 Daily Chart

The ASX 200 was up 0.98%, with mining and bank stocks on the rise for a second consecutive day. There were no economic indicators to move the dial, while risk-on sentiment supported crude oil and commodity prices on Tuesday.

It was a bullish morning for the big-4, with Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) rising by 1.37%. ANZ Group (ANZ) was up 0.88%, with Westpac Banking Corp (WBC) and National Australia Bank (NAB) seeing gains of 0.75% and 0.71%, respectively.

Mining stocks were also in the green. Rio Tinto (RIO) and BHP Group Ltd (BHP) rose by 0.29% and 0.26%, respectively, with Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) up 1.11%. Newcrest Mining (NCM) bucked the trend, falling by 1.65%.

Oil stocks joined the broader market in the green. Woodside Energy Group (WDS) and Santos Ltd (STO) rose by 5.31% and 3.55%, respectively. While overnight gains in crude oil delivered morning support, crude oil prices were back in the red this morning, with Brent Crude down 0.49% to $74.95.

Hang Seng Index

Hang Seng in breakout mode.
HSI 220323 Daily Chart

The Hang Seng was 1.92% this morning. Fear of a global banking crisis subsided, with bets of a less hawkish Fed supporting a breakout session.

Considering the main components, Tencent Holdings Ltd (HK:0700) and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (HK:9988) rose by 2.04% and 3.60%, respectively.

It was also a bullish morning for banking stocks. HSBC Holdings PLC was up 3.47%, with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (HK:1398) and China Construction Bank (HK: 0939) seeing gains of 0.96% and 1.40%, respectively.

CNOOC (HK: 0883) rose by 1.77%.

Nikkei 225

The Nikkei 225 was up 2.08% this morning, with subsiding Fed Fear and easing risks of a global financial crisis providing support. News of the Japanese government planning to spend 2 trillion Yen to ease inflation pain contributed to the upside.

Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (8316) and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group rose by 2.22% and 3.56%, respectively.

Looking at the main components, it was a sea of green. SoftBank Group Corp. (9984) rallied by 3.05%, with Fast Retailing Co (9983) and Tokyo Electron (8035) seeing gains of 2.15% and 2.01%, respectively.

Sony Corp (6758) and KDDI Corp (9433) saw relatively modest gains of 1.60% and 1.28%, respectively.

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.

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