Hang Seng Index, Nikkei Index, ASX 200: Household Spending and Earnings in Focus

Bob Mason
Updated: May 9, 2024, 23:03 GMT+00:00

Key Points:

  • The Hang Seng Index advanced on better-than-expected trade data from China, while the Nikkei Index and ASX 200 had mixed sessions on Thursday (May 9).
  • On Friday (May 10), overnight US economic indicators and the US equity market session will set the tone for the Asian session.
  • Household spending figures from Japan and corporate earnings will also warrant investor consideration.
Hang Seng Index, Nikkei Index, ASX 200

In this article:

US Equity Markets: Jobs Claims and Fed Speakers

On Thursday (May 9), US jobless claims drew investor interest following the softer-than-expected US Jobs Report. Initial jobless claims jumped from 209k to 231k in the week ending May 4.

The rise beyond 220k raised investor expectations of a September Fed rate cut, supporting buyer demand for riskier assets.

However, FOMC voting member Mary Daly capped the upside for the US equity markets. The San Francisco Fed President called for more time to allow restrictive monetary policy to return inflation to the 2% target.

On Thursday (May 9), the Dow gained 0.85%. The Nasdaq Composite Index and S&P 500 ended Thursday up 0.27% and 0.51%, respectively.

The Fed comments and US equity market moves from Thursday will likely set the tone for the Friday (May 10) Asian session.

Asian Economic Calendar: Household Spending and Corporate Earnings

On Friday, household spending figures from Japan will warrant investor interest.

Economists forecast household spending to decline by 0.3% in March after rising by 1.4% in February. Year-on-year, household spending was down 2.4% vs. a 0.5% fall in February.

A larger-than-expected fall in household spending could reduce investor expectations of a near-term Bank of Japan interest rate hike. A pullback in household spending could ease buyer demand for the Yen. A softer Yen may fuel buyer appetite for Nikkei-listed export stocks.

Beyond the economic calendar, corporate earnings also warrant investor attention. Tokyo Electron (8035), KDDI Corp. (9433), and Honda Motor (7267) are among the well-known corporations to release earnings results.

Commodities: Crude Oil, Gold, and Iron Ore

On Thursday (May 9), gold spot (XAU/USD) rallied 1.61% to close the session at $2,345.96. WTI crude oil advanced by 0.34%, ending the Thursday session at $79.26.

On the Singapore Futures Exchange, iron ore prices were down 0.12% on Friday (May 10). Iron ore spot declined by 0.83% on Thursday (May 9).

The USD/JPY and the Nikkei

The USD/JPY slipped by 0.04% on Thursday (May 9), closing the session at 155.418. Trends in the USD/JPY could influence buyer demand for Nikkei Index-listed export stocks. Nevertheless, investors must consider possible Japanese government threats to intervene in the markets if the Yen weakens further.

The Futures Markets

On Friday (May 9), the ASX 200 and Nikkei Index was up by 23 and 390 points, respectively.

ASX 200

ASX 200 saw red on Thursday.
ASX200 100524 Daily Chart

The ASX 200 declined by 1.06% on Thursday (May 9). Bank, mining, and gold-related stocks contributed to the losses, with bank earnings results dragging the Index into negative territory. Tech stocks also contributed to the losses, with the S&P/ASX All Tech Index declining by 0.61%.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) and Westpac Banking Corp. (WBC) slid by 2.21% and 3.02%, respectively. ANZ Group Holdings Ltd. (ANZ) and National Australia Bank Ltd. (NAB) fell by 1.13% and 1.30%, respectively.

BHP Group Ltd (BHP) and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (FMG) saw losses of 0.74% and 0.86%, respectively. Rio Tinto Group Ltd. (RIO) gained 0.02%.

Gold-related stocks Northern Star Resources Ltd. (NST) and Evolution Mining Ltd (EVN) ended the Thursday session down 0.75% and 0.26%, respectively.

However, oil stocks bucked the negative trend. Woodside Energy Group Ltd (WDS) and Santos Ltd (STO) advanced by 0.79% and 0.92%, respectively.

Hang Seng Index

Hang Seng Index benefitted from China trade data.
HSI 100524 Daily Chart

The Hang Seng Index gained 1.22% on Thursday (May 9) on better-than-expected trade data from China. Real estate and tech stocks contributed to the gains. The Hang Seng Tech Index (HSTECH) and Hang Seng Mainland Properties Index (HSMPI) rallied by 1.95% and 2.03%, respectively.

Alibaba (9988) and Tencent (0700) ended the session up 0.85% and 2.32%, respectively.

However, bank stocks had a mixed session. HSBC (0005) fell by 0.33%. China Construction Bank (0939) and Industrial Commercial Bank (1398) advanced by 1.54% and 1.40%, respectively.

The Nikkei Index

Nikkei Index ended Thursday in the red.
Nikkei 100524 Daily Chart

(Graph for reference purposes only)

The Nikkei Index fell by 0.34% on Thursday (May 9), extending its losses from the Wednesday session.

Bank stocks had a positive session. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. (8316) and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. (8306) increased by 1.27% and 2.10%, respectively.

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

Tokyo Electron Ltd. (8035) and Softbank Group Corp. (9948) slid by 2.95% and 2.58%, respectively. Fast Retailing Co. Ltd. (9983) declined by 1.29%, with Sony Group Corporation (6758) falling by 1.49%.

KDDI Corp. (9433) bucked the trend, advancing by 0.12%.

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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