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Asian Markets Are Mixed on February 22

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Updated

Economic calendar

7:30 EST – ECB’s account of the monetary policy meeting

8:30 EST – US initial jobless claims

10:00 EST – FOMC member Dudley speaks

11:00 EST – US crude oil inventories

3:30 EST – FOMC member Kaplan speaks

6:30 EST – Japan’s national core CPI (consumer price index) (January)

6:30 EST – Japan’s Tokyo core CPI (February)

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China

After declining for two consecutive trading weeks, China’s Shanghai Composite Index (SSE) regained strength last week. China’s markets were closed on February 15–21 for Lunar New Year holidays. Last week and this week are “holiday-shortened” weeks. China’s markets reopened today. The Shanghai Composite Index surged to two-week high price levels.

On February 22, the Shanghai Composite Index opened the day higher. The index had the best rally in more than 18 months. Today’s rally was led by strength in transport and consumer stocks. The market is looking forward to the release of January’s China house prices data. The data are scheduled to be released on Friday.

The Shanghai Composite Index rose 2.2% and closed the day at 3,268.56 on February 22. The SPDR S&P China (GXC) rose 0.9% on February 21.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index (HSI-INDEX) rebounded last week and broke the two-week losing streak. The Hang Seng Index opened this week on a mixed note and consolidated at two-week high price levels. On Thursday, the Hang Seng Index opened the day lower and stayed low for the rest of the day. The pullback in US markets on Wednesday following the Fed’s meeting minutes dented the sentiment and weighed on the Hang Seng Index.

On February 22, the Hang Seng Index fell 1.5% and closed the day at 30,965.68. The iShares MSCI Hong Kong (EWH) rose 0.24% on February 21.

Japan

Japan’s Nikkei Index (NIK-INDEX) regained stability last week after trading with a weakness for three weeks. Carrying forward the strength, the Nikkei Index opened this week on a stronger note but lost strength as the week progressed. On Thursday, the Nikkei Index opened the day lower and ended the day with losses amid the decline in major US market indices on Wednesday. The market’s fall was led by weakness in the finance and investment, construction, and gas and water sectors. On Thursday, the Nikkei Index declined 1.1% to 21,736.44. The iShares MSCI Japan (EWJ) fell 1.00% on February 21.

Next, we’ll discuss how European markets performed in the early hours on February 22.

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