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Asian Markets Are Weak amid Trade War Concerns

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Updated

Economic calendar

8:00 AM EST – US FOMC member Bostic speaks

8:15 AM EST – US ADP non-farm employment change (February)

8:20 AM EST – US FOMC member Dudley speaks

8:30 AM EST- US non-farm productivity (Q4)

8:30 AM EST- US trade balance (January)

8:30 AM EST- US unit labor costs (Q4)

10:30 AM EST – US crude oil inventories

2:00 PM EST – Beige Book

6:50 PM EST – Japan’s GDP (Q4)

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China

Following a brief pullback last week, China’s Shanghai Composite Index started this week on a stable note and gained in the first two trading days. On March 7, 2018, the Shanghai Composite Index started the day on a mixed note and declined as the day progressed.

The market sentiment was strong on Tuesday amid a rally in developers and healthcare companies. However, the sentiment weakened on Wednesday amid increased concerns about a global trade war due to US import tariffs. Most of the major sectors in China’s markets lost strength on Wednesday. Banking stocks were supported by the regulator’s decision to decrease banks’ bad debt buffers.

The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.55% and closed the day at 3,271.67 on March 7. The SPDR S&P China (GXC) rose 1.02% on March 6.

Hong Kong

After a brief rebound on Tuesday, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell on March 7. The Hang Seng Index opened lower on Wednesday and declined amid increased trade war concerns. Gary Cohn resigned as President Trump’s chief economic advisor. Cohn’s resignation escalated the market concerns about a global trade war. On March 7, the Hang Seng Index fell 1.03% and closed the day at 30,196.92. The iShares MSCI Hong Kong (EWH) gained 0.59% on Tuesday.

Japan

After a brief attempt to rebound from five-month low price levels on Tuesday, Japan’s Nikkei Index opened lower on Wednesday. Increased concerns about US import tariffs on aluminum and steel weighed on the Nikkei Index. The Nikkei Index declined to eight-month low price levels on Wednesday following Cohn’s resignation overnight. Cohn is a free-trade advocate. The rising yen also added weakness to the market. On March 7, the Nikkei Index fell 0.77% to 21,252.72. The iShares MSCI Japan (EWJ) rose 0.61% on Tuesday.

Next, we’ll discuss how European markets performed in the early hours on March 7.

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