Asian Markets Are Stable, Caution before French Election
9:45 AM EST – US manufacturing PMI (purchasing managers’ index) (April)
9:45 AM EST – US services PMI (April)
10:00 AM EST – US existing home sales (March)
1:00 PM EST – Baker Hughes’s US oil rig count
3:30 PM EST – CFTC commodity speculative net positions
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After regaining some strength on Thursday, China’s Shanghai Composite Index was stable on Friday and ended the day almost flat. The Chinese market opened lower this week and fell in three out of five trading days. The Shanghai Composite Index fell 2.3% this week—the biggest weekly loss in 2017.
Many stocks hit the lower circuit limit at the beginning of the week. Stocks related to the new economic zone in Xiongan were the top losers. Weakness in the market was primarily due to the call for increased regulations to stop misbehavior and illegal activities in China’s money markets. The materials and energy sectors fell the most amid weakness in oil prices this week. Geopolitical tensions between North Korea and the US also lowered markets’ risk appetite this week.
On April 21, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.03% and ended the day at 3,173.15. The SPDR S&P China ETF (GXC) closed at 82.75—a gain of 1.5% on April 20.
After rising on Thursday with support from a rally in the technology sector, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index opened the day higher but failed to stay at higher levels. The market was mixed on Friday. The property developers sector was the worst performer. The risk appetite in the market fell ahead of France’s presidential election on April 23. On April 21, the Hang Seng Index fell 0.06% and closed the day at 24,042.02. The iShares MSCI Hong Kong ETF (EWH) rose 1.4% to $22.41 on April 20.
After closing flat on Thursday, Japan’s Nikkei Index opened the day higher amid a rise in Wall Street indices. The index closed higher on Friday. The automobiles and banking sectors led the market rally today. Nikkei closed the day at 18,620.75—a gain of 1.0%. The iShares MSCI Japan (EWJ) closed at 51.27—a gain of 0.61% on April 20. In the next part, we’ll see how European markets are performing on Friday.