Resilient U.S. Markets yesterday failed to inspire Asian indices, which finished the day mixed. Asian economies focused more on oil prices and weak dollar momentum today. The dollar index has fallen 3% since the start of February. This compares to the 36% rise in the over the last one year that has already started exerting pressure on the U.S. economy. U.S. competitiveness may continue to shrink with the Fed being the only central bank that is aiming to normalize monetary policy, at least that is what it is publicly conveying.
The Hang Seng closed higher by 0.55% at 19,288.17 today, but the rest of the Asian markets traded lower. The Shanghai SE Composite Index lost nearly 0.63% to 2,763.49 as markets prepared to embrace the Chinese New Year. Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 1.32% to 16,819.59. There are growing concerns In Japan as the Bank of Japan’s negative interest rate policy has failed to arrest yen appreciation against the dollar. Taiwan’s TSEC 50 Index also posted losses of 0.85% to 8,063. Indian markets put up an impressive performance by contrast, where the Sensex was trading up by 202 points to 24,540.
German factory orders dip
European stock markets opened cautiously but positive today for lack of any new development apart from US jobs data, which is set to be released today. The Euronext and CAC 40 have picked up 0.43% and 0.60% to 842 and 4,254.09 respectively. Britain’s FTSE 100 was also trading higher by 0.54% to 5,930.86. Germany’s DAX slipped marginally by 0.01% to 9,393 after Destatis reported a fall in the country’s factory orders. It mentioned that factory orders slowed down by 0.7% in December versus a 1.5% jump in November. The figure disappointed the market, which was expecting a lower drop for the month.
In the U.S., the non-farm payroll data looks set to dominate market sentiment later today. The markets closed marginally higher yesterday after a whipsaw day as a surge in oil prices kept traders optimistic. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.49% higher at 16,417, and the S&P 500 Index gained 2.92 points to 1,915.45.