Asian markets mixed
Major Asian markets (AAXJ) were trading on a mixed bias on May 23 after the decent data release was hampered by investor caution about a possible US Fed rate hike at its June meeting. The Indian and Japanese indexes were trading negative while Taiwan, China, and Indonesia posted gains.
The Japanese (DXJ) Nikkei 225 was trading negative by 0.49% for the day. The US dollar/Japanese yen currency pair is inversely related to the Japanese yen. It was trading at 109.4 at 9:30 AM EST. The Chinese (MCHI) DJ Shanghai Index was among the major Asian markets to post gains with a rise of 0.54%. The iShares MSCI India (INDA) was trading negative. It fell by 0.24%.
Japanese trade balance above forecasts while PMI disappoints
The Japanese Ministry of Finance published the balance of trade figures for April, which came in on a strong note. The trade surplus came out at 824 billion yen, well above the consensus of a surplus of close to 300 billion. This was primarily attributed to the sharp fall in imports compared to the moderate fall in exports. The exports fell by 10.1% while the imports saw a significant decline of 23.3%. Among other data releases on the Japanese front, the Markit flash manufacturing PMI release for April saw the sharpest decline in two years. The report suggested a decrease on all fronts except employment, which saw a rise but at a slower pace compared to last month.
Singapore inflation numbers in line with forecasts
The Singapore core inflation for April rose by 0.8% on a year-over-year basis. This was mostly in line with the forecasts. The overall inflation fell by 0.5%, a slightly sharper decline than the forecast of a fall of 0.4%. The Taiwan unemployment rate rose by 4.0% in April, against the previous month’s rise of 3.9%.