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Hang Seng Index, Nikkei 225, ASX 200: Earnings, Interventions, and Consumer Sentiment

By:
Bob Mason
Updated: Mar 25, 2024, 23:27 GMT+00:00

Key Points:

  • The Hang Seng Index and Nikkei kickstarted the week with losses, while the ASX 200 saw green on Monday.
  • Intervention threats impacted the USD/JPY and pressured the Nikkei.
  • On Tuesday, overnight Fed chatter and US data from Monday and the Asian economic calendar warrant investor attention.
Hang Seng Index, Nikkei 225, ASX 200

In this article:

Summary of the Monday Session

The Hang Seng Index and Nikkei kickstarted the week with losses. However, the ASX 200 ended the Monday session in positive territory.

Investor expectations of a soft US economic landing and sentiment toward interest rate trajectories drove demand for riskier assets. There were no stats from the US session on Friday to influence market risk sentiment on Monday.

However, FOMC member Raphael Bostic tested buyer demand for riskier assets, projecting one 25-basis point Fed rate cut in 2024. Bostic had previously signaled support for two interest rate cuts.

On Friday, the Nasdaq Composite Index advanced by 0.16%. However, the Dow and S&P 500 ended the day with losses of 0.77% and 0.14%, respectively. Nike (NKE) slid by 6.90% to $93.86 after warning about lower revenue in H1 2025.

The US market session set the tone for the Asian Monday session. However, intervention threats to bolster the Yen pressured the Nikkei. Attacks on Russian refineries supported oil prices, while news of Fitch Ratings upgrading its iron ore price forecasts for 2024-26 drove buyer demand for mining stocks.

Central Banks and Aussie Consumer Confidence in Focus

On Tuesday, US economic data and Fed speeches from Monday need investor consideration.

FOMC members Austan Goolsbee and Lisa Cook delivered speeches. Lisa Cook called for a cautious approach to monetary policy easing. House prices and rental leases were a focal point. FOMC member Austan Goolsbee discussed the surprising persistence of housing inflation. However, both saw housing inflation cooling.

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index and Dallas Fed Manufacturing Index numbers sent mixed signals. The Chicago Fed National Activity Index increased from -0.54 to 0.05 in February. Moreover, the Dallas Fed Manufacturing Index fell from -11.3 to -14.4 in March. New home sales unexpectedly slipped by 0.3% in February.

The US equity markets were in a cautious mood before the US inflation numbers on Good Friday. On Monday, the Nasdaq Composite Index and S&P 500 declined by 0.27% and 0.31%, respectively. The Dow fell by 0.41%.

While the US market session will set the tone, the Asian economic calendar also needs consideration.

Consumer confidence numbers from Australia could influence retail-linked and interest rate-sensitive ASX 200-listed stocks.

An improving consumer confidence environment could fuel household spending and demand-driven inflation. In March, the RBA continued to consider uncertainty about the outlook for household spending. A boost in consumer confidence could bring an RBA rate hike back to the table.

Economists forecast the Westpac Consumer Confidence Index to decline by 1.6% to 84.6.

Beyond the numbers, investors must also consider earnings, intervention and BoJ chatter from Japan, and stimulus commentary from Beijing. Big names on the earnings calendar include PetroChina (0857), China Telecom (0728), Kerry Logistics Network (0636), and Cosco Shipping HK (0517).

On Tuesday, the ASX 200 futures down up 29 points, while the Nikkei futures were up by 40 points.

ASX 200

ASX 200 saw green on Monday.
ASX200 260324 Daily Chart

The ASX 200 advanced by 0.53% on Monday. Mining stocks led the way, with gold (XAU/USD), oil, and tech stocks contributing to the gains. The S&P ASX All Technology Index (XTX) rose by 0.95%. However, bank stocks capped the gains.

Rio Tinto Ltd. (RIO) and BHP Group Ltd (BHP) rose by 0.88% and 0.21%, respectively. Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (FMG) ended the session up 3.49%.

Gold (XAU/USD) stock Northern Star Resources Ltd. (NST) slipped by 0.07%, while Evolution Mining Ltd (EVN) advanced by 2.35%.

Woodside Energy Group Ltd (WDS) and Santos Ltd (STO) increased by 1.18% and 1.07%, respectively.

ANZ Group Holdings Ltd. (ANZ) and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) saw gains of 0.38% and 1.12%, respectively. However, National Australia Bank Ltd. (NAB) and Westpac Banking Corp. (WBC) fell by 0.58% and 0.11%, respectively.

Hang Seng Index

Hang Seng Index ended the Monday session in negative territory.
HSI 260324 Daily Chart

On Monday, the Hang Seng Index fell by 0.16%.

The real estate sector steadied after the Friday sell-off. The Hang Seng Mainland Properties Index (HSMPI) gained 1.41%. However, tech stocks capped the gains on Monday. The Hang Seng Tech Index (HSTECH) declined by 0.54%.

Alibaba (9988) and Tencent (0700) ended the session down 0.99% and 0.07%, respectively.

Bank stocks had a mixed Monday session. HSBC (0005) gained 0.41%. However, China Construction Bank (0939) and Industrial Commercial Bank (1398) saw losses of 0.21% and 0.25%, respectively.

The Nikkei 225

Intervention threats pressured the Nikkei.
Nikkei 260324 Daily Chart

(Graph for reference purposes only)

The Nikkei declined by 1.16% on Monday.

Bank stocks saw losses, with Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. (8316) and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. (8306) falling by 1.58% and 1.34%, respectively.

It was also a negative start to the week for the main components of the Nikkei.

Sony Group Corporation (6758) slid by 2.97%. Tokyo Electron Ltd. (8035) and KDDI Corp. (9433) saw losses of 1.55% and 1.55%, respectively. Softbank Group Corp. (9948) and Fast Retailing Co. Ltd. (9983) declined by 0.70% and 0.59%, respectively.

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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