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Asian Markets Are Stable on March 15

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Updated

Economic calendar

8:30 AM EST – US initial jobless claims

8:30 AM EST – US NY Empire State Manufacturing Index (March)

8:30 AM EST – US Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index (March)

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China

Following a strong performance last week, China’s Shanghai Composite Index started this week on a stable note and lost upward momentum as the week progressed. After declining for two days, the Shanghai Composite Index opened lower on Thursday and closed the day flat.

Market sentiment

The market sentiment was weak on Wednesday amid US protectionism concerns. Amid mounting concerns about a US-led trade war, the Shanghai Composite Index started the day on a weaker note. Warnings from regulators about market risk and bubbles increased the selling pressure in small-cap stocks, especially the newly listed shares. The weak market sentiment was offset by strong gains in stocks related to the healthcare and consumer sectors. The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.01% and closed the day at 3,291.61 on March 15. The SPDR S&P China (GXC) gained 0.84% on March 14.

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Hong Kong

After starting this week on a stronger note and trading at five-week high price levels for two days, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index pulled back on Wednesday. Following US markets’ decline overnight, the Hang Seng Index opened lower on Thursday. The market staged a recovery as China’s market regained strength. The sentiment is still mixed amid trade war concerns and weaker-than-expected US retail sales data. On March 15, the Hang Seng Index rose 0.52% and closed the day at 31,604.00. The iShares MSCI Hong Kong (EWH) declined 0.23% on Wednesday.

Japan

After pulling back from two-week high price levels on Wednesday, Japan’s Nikkei Index opened lower on March 15. The Nikkei Index was weak in the early hours amid concerns about the US imposing import tariffs on Chinese imports. Machinery stocks declined on Wednesday. Import tariffs on China could impact Japanese machinery sales in China. The sentiment was offset by the central bank’s move to buy domestic ETFs. There was strength in the trading, shipbuilding, and power sectors on Thursday.

On March 15, the Nikkei Index gained 0.15% and closed the day at 21,810.50. The iShares MSCI Japan (EWJ) gained 0.43% on Wednesday.

Next, we’ll discuss how European markets performed in the early hours on March 15.

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