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Asian Markets Are Weak before US-China Trade Talks

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Updated

Economic calendar

  • 8:30 AM EST: US initial jobless claims
  • 8:30 AM EST: US Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index (May)
  • 8:30 AM EST: US Philadelphia Fed Employment (May)
  • 10:45 AM EST: FOMC member Kashkari speaks
  • 12:00 PM EST: BoE Monetary Policy Committee member Haldane speaks
  • 1:30 PM EST: FOMC member Kaplan speaks
  • 7:30 PM EST: Japan’s national core consumer price index (April)
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China

After starting this week on a stronger note, China’s Shanghai Composite Index gained in the first two trading days but lost strength as the week progressed. Following a pullback on Wednesday, the Shanghai Composite Index opened May 17 on a weaker note and closed the day lower.

Market sentiment

The market sentiment weakened on Wednesday amid North Korea’s warning that it might cancel the meeting with President Trump. The meeting is scheduled for June 12. The market sentiment weakened more before the US-China trade talks. The talks are scheduled to start later today. In addition to the weak market sentiment, weakness in the life insurance, retailers, and travel and leisure sectors pushed the market lower on Thursday.

The Shanghai Composite Index closed Thursday at 3,154.28—a drop of 0.48%. The SPDR S&P China (GXC) gained 2.3% on May 16.

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Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index closed last week higher and started this week on a stronger note. However, the Hang Seng Index lost strength as the week progressed amid the weak sentiment. On Thursday, the Hang Seng Index opened lower amid a strong rally in US Treasury yields. Increased caution in the market ahead of the US-China trade talks also weighed on the Hang Seng Index.

On May 17, the Hang Seng Index declined 0.54% and closed the day at 30,942.15. The iShares MSCI Hong Kong (EWH) gained 0.19% on Wednesday.

Japan

After gaining for seven consecutive trading weeks, Japan’s Nikkei Index started this week on a stronger note but lost strength as the week progressed. On May 17, the Nikkei Index opened the day on a stable note and maintained strength throughout the day. Despite weak Asian market sentiment, the Nikkei Index maintained stability amid the weak yen and strength in the textile, pharmaceutical industry, and transportation equipment sectors.

The Nikkei Index gained 0.53% and closed May 16 at 22,838.37. The iShares MSCI Japan (EWJ) gained 0.3% on Wednesday.

Next, we’ll discuss how European markets performed in the morning session on May 17.

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