Hang Seng Index, Nikkei Index, ASX 200: Aussie Inflation Puts the ASX in Focus

Bob Mason
Updated: Apr 23, 2024, 22:58 GMT+00:00

Key Points:

  • The Asian equity markets extended their gains from Monday, with the Hang Seng Index leading the ASX 200 and Nikkei into positive territory on Tuesday.
  • On Wednesday, Australian inflation numbers will put the RBA and the ASX 200 in the spotlight.
  • Investors should also consider corporate earnings. Ping An Insurance (HK: 2318) and Telstra Group (TLS) are among the big names to release earnings results.
Hang Seng Index, Nikkei Index, ASX 200

In this article:

US Equity Markets: Services PMI and Corporate Earnings

On Tuesday, preliminary US private sector PMI numbers warranted investor attention. The S&P Global Services PMI decreased from 51.7 to 50.9 in April. Moreover, the S&P Global Manufacturing PMI fell from 51.9 to 49.9. Economists expected the PMIs of 52.0 and 52.0, respectively.

The Services PMI refueled investor bets on a September Fed interest rate cut. Service sector firms reported the second-lowest cost increase in three-and-a-half years. Employment across the services sector fell for the first time since June 2020. The private sector saw new orders decline for the first time in six months.

Corporate earnings results were also in focus. General Motors (GM), PepsiCo (PEP), Tesla (TSLA), United Parcel Service (UPS), and Visa (V) were among the big names to release earnings results.

On Tuesday, the Nasdaq Composite Index rallied 1.59%. The Dow and the S&P 500 advanced by 0.69% and 1.20%, respectively. The US equity market session and corporate earnings will likely set the tone for the Wednesday Asian session.

Asian Economic Calendar: Aussie Inflation in Focus

On Wednesday, April 24, Australian inflation numbers will put the RBA and the ASX 200 in focus. Hotter-than-expected inflation figures for the first quarter could reignite speculation about an RBA interest rate hike. Interest rate-sensitive ASX 200-listed stocks could face selling pressure in case of a more hawkish RBA rate path.

Economists forecast the annual inflation rate to ease from 4.1% to 3.4% in the first quarter. Furthermore, economists expect consumer prices to increase by 0.8% quarter-on-quarter in Q1 after rising by 0.6% in Q4.

Beyond the economic calendar, investors should consider corporate earnings results. Ping An Insurance (HK2318) and Telstra Group (ASX: TLS) are on the earnings calendar to release earnings on Wednesday, April 24.

Commodities: Crude Oil, Gold, and Iron Ore

On Tuesday, gold (XAU/USD) prices continued to trend lower. However, WTI crude oil prices rebounded from early losses on reignited hopes of a Fed rate cut.

On the Singapore Futures Exchange, iron ore prices extended modest losses from Monday, falling by 0.91%.

The USD/JPY, the Intervention Zone, and the Nikkei

The USD/JPY slipped by 0.01% on Tuesday, closing the session at 154.828. Nikkei-listed export stocks favor a stronger USD/JPY. Nevertheless, lingering threats of government intervention to bolster the Yen continued to cap the upside for the Nikkei.

The Futures Markets

On Wednesday, the ASX 200 and Nikkei were up 27 and 410 points, respectively.

ASX 200

ASX 200 saw gains on Tuesday.
ASX200 240424 Daily Chart

The ASX 200 gained 0.45% on Tuesday. Bank and tech stocks contributed to the gains. The S&P ASX All Technology Index (XTX) advanced by 1.19%.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) and National Australia Bank Ltd. (NAB) saw gains of 1.51% and 1.32%, respectively. ANZ Group Holdings Ltd. (ANZ) and Westpac Banking Corp. (WBC) rose by 0.85% and 0.93%, respectively.

However, falling commodity prices impacted oil, mining, and gold-related stocks.

Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (FMG) and Rio Tinto Ltd. (RIO) saw losses of 0.77% and 0.16%, respectively. BHP Group Ltd (BHP) gained 0.18%.

Gold stocks Northern Star Resources Ltd. (NST) and Evolution Mining Ltd (EVN) slid by 3.53% and 1.50%, respectively.

Woodside Energy Group Ltd (WDS) and Santos Ltd (STO) ended the session down 0.70% and 0.39%, respectively.

Hang Seng Index

Hang Seng Index rallied for the second session on Tuesday.
HSI 240424 Daily Chart

On Tuesday, the Hang Seng Index extended its gains from Monday, rallying 1.92%. Real estate and tech stocks contributed to the gains. The Hang Seng Tech Index (HSTECH) surged 3.38%, with the Hang Seng Mainland Properties Index (HSMPI) advancing by 1.32%.

Tencent (0700) and Alibaba (9988) advanced by 3.75% and 1.97%, respectively.

Bank stocks also had a positive session. HSBC (0005) gained 1.34%. China Construction Bank (0939) and Industrial Commercial Bank (1398) rose by 0.20% and 0.49%, respectively.

The Nikkei 225

Nikkei advanced on Tuesday.
Nikkei 240424 Daily Chart

(Graph for reference purposes only)

The Nikkei advanced by 0.30% on Tuesday.

Bank stocks extended their gains from Monday. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. (8316) and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. (8306) rose by 1.01% and 0.55%, respectively.

However, it was a mixed session for the main components of the Nikkei 225.

Fast Retailing Co. Ltd. (9983) and KDDI Corp. (9433) saw gains of 1.76% and 0.60%, respectively. Tokyo Electron Ltd. (8035) rose by 0.15%, with Softbank Group Corp. (9948) rising by 0.09%.

Sony Group Corporation (6758) bucked the trend, falling by 0.28%.

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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