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Asian Markets Are Weak amid US-Led Attack on Syria

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Apr. 16 2018, Updated 8:04 a.m. ET

Economic calendar

  • 8:30 AM EST: US core retail sales (March)
  • 8:30 AM EST: US NY Empire State Manufacturing Index (April)
  • 10:00 AM EST: US business inventories (February)
  • 12:00 PM EST: FOMC member Kaplan speaks
  • 12:00 PM EST: FOMC member Kashkari speaks
  • 1:15 PM EST: FOMC member Bostic speaks
  • 10:00 PM EST: China’s fixed asset investment (March)
  • 10:00 PM EST: China’s GDP (Q1)
  • 10:00 PM EST: China’s industrial production (March)
  • 10:00 PM EST: National Bureau of Statistics of China Press Conference
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China

China’s Shanghai Composite Index gained in the three first trading days last week. However, the index pulled back at the end of the week and ended with limited gains. The Shanghai Composite Index opened the day lower on Monday and declined to ten-month low price levels.

Market sentiment

The market sentiment in China’s markets was weak at the end of last week amid escalating concerns about a possible US-led attack on Syria. Also, the release of China’s weaker-than-expected exports data added weakness to the market. Over the weekend, the US, the United Kingdom, and France carried out a missile attack on Syria’s chemical weapon program facility. The attack increased geopolitical tensions and weighed on global markets on Monday. The market is looking forward to the release of China’s GDP, industrial production, and fixed asset investment data. The data are scheduled to be released at 10:00 PM EST today.

The Shanghai Composite Index declined 1.5% and closed the day at 3,110.75 on April 16. The SPDR S&P China (GXC) declined 1.8% on April 13.

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Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index regained strength last week and broke the three-week losing streak. On April 16, the Hang Seng Index opened on a weaker note and declined to one-week low price levels. The decreased market risk appetite and ongoing trade concerns between the US and China caused industry heavyweights like Tencent Holdings, China property developers, and financials to decline on Monday.

The Hang Seng Index declined 1.9% and closed the day at 30,223.00 on April 16. The iShares MSCI Hong Kong (EWH) declined 0.77% on April 13.

Japan

After gaining for three consecutive trading weeks, Japan’s Nikkei Index started this week on a stable note. On Monday, the Nikkei Index opened the day higher and consolidated at four-week high price levels. The Nikkei Index maintained stability amid increased demand for defensive sectors due to trade war concerns. There aren’t any reports of continued attacks on Syria, which helped maintain stability.

The Nikkei Index gained 0.29% on April 16 and closed the day at 21,841.50. The iShares MSCI Japan (EWJ) remained unchanged at $60.23.

Next, we’ll discuss how European markets performed in the morning session.

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