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Asian Markets Started the Week on a Weaker Note

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Mar. 5 2018, Published 8:04 a.m. ET

Economic calendar

9:45 AM EST – US Markit composite PMI (purchasing managers’ index) (February)

9:45 AM EST – US services PMI (February)

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

10:00 AM EST – US ISM non-manufacturing PMI (February)

1:15 PM EST – US FOMC member Quarles speaks

7:01 PM EST – United Kingdom BRC retail sales monitor (February)

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China

After pulling back last week and breaking the two-week losing streak, China’s Shanghai Composite Index (SSE) started this week on a mixed note. On Monday, the Shanghai Composite Index opened the day higher but closed almost flat.

The market sentiment in China was weak most of last week amid the release of weaker-than-expected manufacturing data. The sentiment was also dented by trade war concerns following the announcement of plans to impose a tariff on steel and aluminum imports. At the beginning of this week, the market sentiment was dominated by bargain hunting at low price levels and caution on the first day of China’s annual meeting of parliament.

The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.07% and closed the day at 3,256.93 on March 5. The SPDR S&P China (GXC) fell 0.14% on March 2.

Hong Kong

Following a pullback last week, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index (HSI-INDEX) opened lower on Monday. Amid increased concerns about a US-led trade war, the Hang Seng Index opened lower and declined to three-week low price levels as the day progressed. The decreased risk appetite as China kicked off its annual meeting of parliament also added weakness to the market.

On March 5, the Hang Seng Index fell 2.3% and closed the day at 29,890.00. The iShares MSCI Hong Kong (EWH) gained 0.08% on Friday.

Japan

After declining last week, Japan’s Nikkei Index (NIK-INDEX) started this week on a weaker note and fell to five-month low price levels. On Monday, the market opened lower amid dented sentiment. Lingering fears about a US-led trade war and a surge in the yen weighed on exporters and steelmakers as well as the Nikkei Index on Monday.

On March 5, the Nikkei Index fell 0.67% to 21,040. The iShares MSCI Japan (EWJ) rose 1.1% on Friday.

Next, we’ll discuss how European markets performed in the early hours on March 5.

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