Asian markets trade lower
Major Asian markets (AAXJ) were trading with a negative bias on May 4. It’s a continuation of the fall in global equities the previous day. The Indonesian IDX composite index was the only Asian index that was trading positive. This was mainly due to the release of the Indonesian GDP (gross domestic product) growth figures.
The Japanese (DXJ) Nikkei 225 will remain closed due to a holiday until Friday. The US dollar-Japanese yen currency pair is inversely related to the Japanese yen. It was trading at 106.73 in early trade. The Chinese (MCHI) DJ Shanghai index was trading nearly flat with a slight fall of 0.03%.
Looking at the performance of the Oceania indexes, the Australian (EWA) index S&P/ASX 200 and the Dow Jones New Zealand (VPL) fell by 1.5% and 0.32%, respectively. The Indian (INDA) index was also negative. It fell 0.52%.
New Zealand labor data release
Statistics New Zealand published the labor market statistics for the quarter ending in March on May 5, 2016. The unemployment rate increased to 5.7%—compared to the revised estimate of 5.4%. The labor force saw growth of 1.5%. This was the largest increase in over a decade. The quarter-over-quarter employment change rose by 1.2%. This was better than the earlier forecasts of a 1.0% rise.
Why the IDX composite rose while other Asian markets fell
The quarter-over-quarter Indonesian GDP fell by 0.34% in the first quarter—compared to forecasts of a 0.1% rise. The year-over-year GDP growth was also below the Market expectations. It only rose 4.9%. The disappointing GDP results are expected to put more pressure on the Indonesian Central Bank to cut the interest rate in an attempt to spur growth. The Indonesian IDX composite index rose 0.21% for the day—compared to the other major Asian markets that were falling. Among other major Asian data releases, the Nikkei India services purchasing managers’ index for April came out in line with forecasts at 53.7.