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Asian Markets Started March on a Mixed Note

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Updated

Economic calendar

8:30 AM EST – US core PCE Price Index (January)

8:30 AM EST – US initial jobless claims

8:30 AM EST – US personal spending (January)

10:00 AM EST – Fed Chair Jerome Powell testifies

10:00 AM EST – US ISM manufacturing employment (February)

11:00 AM EST – FOMC member Dudley speaks

2:00 PM EST – Beige Book

7:00 PM EST – Bank of England Governor Carney speaks

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China

After declining in February, China’s Shanghai Composite Index (SSE) started March on a stable note. Last month, the Shanghai Composite Index declined 6.4% and recorded the worst monthly decline since January 2016. The Shanghai Composite Index opened lower on March 1 but regained strength as the day progressed and ended the day higher.

The market sentiment weakened in China’s markets amid the release of February’s weaker-than-expected manufacturing PMI data on Tuesday. The overnight decline in US markets added pressure and resulted in a gap down open for the Shanghai Composite Index on Thursday. The sentiment improved amid the release of Caixin’s stronger-than-expected manufacturing PMI. The PMI increased to 51.6 in February, which boosted consumer, healthcare, and banking firms on Thursday and reversed the sentiment.

The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.44% and closed the day at 3,273.75 on March 1. The SPDR S&P China (GXC) fell 1.6% on February 28.

Hong Kong

After declining for two consecutive days, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index (HSI-INDEX) opened lower on Thursday. The decline of major US market indices caused the Hang Seng Index to fall by 424 points in the early trading hours. However, the sentiment reversed amid a rebound in China’s markets in the middle of the day. The market is looking forward to the release of Hong Kong’s January retail sales data. The data are scheduled to release on Friday.

On March 1, the Hang Seng Index rose 0.71% and closed the day at 31,065. The iShares MSCI Hong Kong (EWH) fell 0.85% on Wednesday.

Japan

After breaking a three-day gaining streak on Wednesday, Japan’s Nikkei Index (NIK-INDEX) opened lower on Thursday. Weakness in US markets along with weakness in automakers, financials, and tech stocks weighed on the Nikkei Index on March 1. The yen’s strength also weighed on exporters and the market.

On March 1, the Nikkei Index fell 1.6% to 21,720. The iShares MSCI Japan (EWJ) fell 0.88% on Wednesday.

Next, we’ll discuss how European markets performed in the early hours on March 1.

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