Hang Seng Index, ASX200, Nikkei 225: Hang Seng Stumbles

Bob Mason
Published: Mar 20, 2023, 04:23 GMT+00:00

Government and central bank actions to avert a banking crisis failed to provide comfort this morning, with recession fears adding to the bearish mood.

Asian equities are under pressure - FX Empire

In this article:

  • It was a mixed morning for the Asian markets, with the Hang Seng Index and ASX 200 seeing red.
  • The Hang Seng Index saw deep red despite assurances from central bankers of support and the UBS AG agreement to acquire Credit Suisse Group AG.
  • There were no economic indicators to influence market risk sentiment.

Market Overview

It was a mixed morning for the Asian markets. The Hang Seng Index and ASX 200 struggled, while the Nikkei 225 benefitted from a stronger dollar.

News from the weekend of UBS AG (UBS) agreeing to acquire Credit Suisse Group AG (CS) failed to comfort investors this morning. Fears of further banking woes and the impact of monetary policy tightening on the global economy weighed on investor sentiment.

While governments and central banks attempt to restore confidence in the banking sector, jitters will likely linger. However, the commitment to prevent another bank from collapsing cushioned the downside.

ASX 200

ASX 200 sees red.
ASX 200 200323 Daily Chart

The ASX 200 was down 1.16%. Mining and bank stocks dragged the index into negative territory.

ANZ Group (ANZ) and National Australia Bank (NAB) saw losses of 1.14% and 0.94%, respectively. Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) and Westpac Banking Corp (WBC) were down 0.41% and 0.38%, respectively.

Mining stocks were also in the red. Rio Tinto (RIO) and BHP Group Ltd (BHP) declined by 0.14% and 0.62%, respectively, with Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) down 1.68%. However, Newcrest Mining (NCM) bucked the trend, rising by 5.23%.

Oil stocks joined the broader market in the red. Woodside Energy Group (WDS) and Santos Ltd (STO) fell by 2.44% and 1.73%, respectively. Crude oil prices slipped this morning, with Brent down by 0.58% to $72.55.

Hang Seng Index

Hang Seng Index slides.
HSI 200323 Daily Chart

The Hang Seng was down 2.58% this morning.

Considering the main components, Tencent Holdings Ltd (HK:0700) and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (HK:9988) fell by 1.94% and 2.70%, respectively.

It was also a bearish morning for banking stocks. HSBC Holdings PLC tumbled by 5.58%, with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (HK:1398) and China Construction Bank (HK: 0939) seeing losses of 0.71% and 0.78%, respectively.

CNOOC (HK: 0883) declined by 0.52%.

Nikkei 225

Nikkei finds USD/JPY support.
JP 225 200323 Daily Chart

The Nikkei 225 was up 0.31% this morning, with a stronger USD/JPY providing support.

However, bank stocks struggled, with Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (8316) and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group falling by 1.05% and 1.32%, respectively.

Looking at the main components, it was a mixed session.

Tokyo Electron (8035) and Fast Retailing Co (9983) declined by 1.98% and 2.07%, respectively. Sony Corp (6758) and SoftBank Group Corp. (9984) fell by 0.47% and 0.84%, respectively, while KDDI Corp (9433) rose by 0.10%.

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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