Hang Seng Index, ASX200, Nikkei 225: Hang Seng Takes a Tumble
- It was a mixed morning session for the Asian markets, with the Hang Seng Index struggling alongside its mainland peers.
- The mixed morning session came despite China’s services sector returning to growth in January.
- Investor caution ahead of today’s US Jobs Report and corporate earnings pegged the major indexes, with falling commodity prices weighing.
It was a mixed morning session. While economic indicators from China were market-friendly, the Hang Seng Index continued to struggle. The Nikkei 225 and ASX made modest gains despite the NASDAQ Index breakout session.
Central bank commentary from Thursday further supported the consensus that inflation had peaked in 2022 and was softening at the turn of the year.
However, sentiment toward corporate earnings remained a test following a gloomy outlook from Amazon.com (AMZN). After hours, Amazon.com fell by 5.07% in response to expectations of lower cloud business sales growth in the coming quarters.
This morning, the NASDAQ mini was down 203 points, with investors shifting focus to the US Jobs Report and today’s US earnings calendar. Apple (AAPL) and Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL) will release results today.
The ASX 200 was up 0.27% this morning, supported by the NASDAQ Index gains on Thursday. However, falling commodity prices sent mining stocks into the deep red, limiting the upside.
BHP Group Ltd (BHP) and Rio Tinto (RIO) were down 2.04% and 1.76%, respectively, with Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) falling by 1.48%. Newcrest Mining (NCM) has given up some of Thursday’s gains, declining by 1.90%, with Wisetech Global (WTC) sliding by 2.42%.
However, bank stocks delivered support. ANZ Group (ANZ) was up 1.71%, with National Australia Bank (NAB) and Westpac Banking Corp (WBC) seeing gains of 1.18% and 1.40%, respectively. Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) trailed, with a 0.85% gain.
Hang Seng Index
It was back into negative territory for the Hang Seng, which fell by 1.79%. The early pullback came despite better-than-expected service PMI numbers from China. In January, the Caixin Services PMI rose from 48.0 to 52.9, with the services sector returning to growth for the first time since August.
Falling oil prices weighed on CNOOC (HK: 0883), which fell by 1.73%, with ENN Energy Holdings (2688) sliding by 1.86%. Tencent Holdings Ltd (HK:0700) and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (HK:9988) also saw red, with losses of 1.51% and 2.57%, respectively.
Things were not much better for bank stocks. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (HK:9988) and China Construction Bank (HK: 0939) were down by 0.97% and 0.79%, respectively.
The Nikkei 225 was up 0.60% this morning, with a pickup in the USD/JPY (128.677) providing morning support. Economic data from Japan was also positive, with the Services PMI rising from 51.1 to 52.3 in January, down modestly from a prelim 52.4.
Sony Corp (6758) was among the front-runners this morning, rallying by 4.87%, with TDK Corp (6762) and Recruit Holdings (6098) seeing gains of 3.20% and 3.33%, respectively. Fast Retailing Co (9984), Tokyo Electron Ltd (8035), and Softbank Group Corp (9434) also delivered support, while KDDI Corp (9433) slid by 2.81%.
Looking Beyond the Morning Session
It is a busy global economic calendar. US corporate earnings and the all-important US Jobs Report will be in focus today.
Apple (AAPL) and Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL) will release earnings, with gloomy outlooks likely to test buyer appetite for tech stocks.
Check out our economic calendar for today’s economic events.