Asian markets held on to their gains today, remaining unaffected by the slew of negative economic data. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and Japan’s Nikkei led the herd by registering a 2.32% and 2.28% gain today to finish at 19,363.08 and 16,196.80 respectively. Both the Australia ASX and Taiwan TSEC 50 witnessed upsurges by 2.20% and 1.22% as well.
Ignoring China’s woes
However, China’s Shanghai SE Composite Index again was the exception, closing 0.16% lower to 2,862.89. This is seen as a response to negative data released in China today, indicating that inflation in January rose 1.8% as against expectations of a 1.9% surge. Simultaneously, the producer price index also extended its fall in January as it dropped 5.3% compared to a 5.9% dip in December.
But most of the economies in Asia overlooked the data and preferred to respond to the oil price surge and better-than-expected U.S. economic data, released a day earlier. IG chief market strategist Chris Weston termed the rally in Asian stocks as the start of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) trading.
Europe Starts Meekly
European markets opened lower and were seen entering positive territory, though cautiously. The FTSE 100 remained in the red, 0.48% down at 6,001.61 while the Swiss Market Index had reported a 0.42% fall to 7,913.
Except for those two, the Euronext 100, CAC 40 and DAX turned positive on signals that Iran is willing to co-operate with an oil output freeze decision reached between Russia and Saudi Arabia this week. The Euronext 100 added 0.21% to 837.43, France’s CAC 40 gained 11.10 points to 4,244.57 and Germany’s DAX inched up 32.17 points to 9,409.38 during the early trading hours.
Yesterday, the U.S. stocks finished the day sharply higher on the back of the oil rally and positive economic data. The key economic development that came to light was that the industrial production rose 0.9% in January. The data gave confidence to the market that spending in the U.S. will continue to support revenues and profitability of Big Business. So said Moody’s chief economist John Lonski.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day 1.59% higher at 16,453.83 while the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:INX) moved up 31.24 points to 1,926.82. US futures are trading slightly higher in the premarket session.