Asian markets ended the day mixed, reflecting indecision from the direction of the U.S. equities that tumbled yesterday. The main factor that drove world markets yesterday was the statement from the Fed, which signaled a slower pace of monetary tightening.
Despite a moderate view concerning economic growth in the U.S., major Asian indices retreated from their morning losses. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed 0.75% higher at 19,195.83 while Taiwan’s TSEC 50 Index gained 55.27 points, or 0.70% to settle at 7,905.10. China’s Shanghai SE Composite Index and Japan’s Nikkei 225 were exceptions as they lost 2.92% and 0.71% to end the day lower at 2,655.66 and 17,041.45 respectively.
Price action was similar in European markets, where indices traded mixed. The U.K. fourth quarter report will be a main driver of market sentiment today. According to the Office for National Statistics, the U.K. economy grew by 0.5% in the fourth-quarter versus 0.4% in the previous quarter, matching market expectations. These numbers should take off worries that Britain’s economy is in a steep slump as domestic demand remained supported.
Britain’s benchmark index FTSE 100 tested the 6,000 today but pared gains to trade 0.07% higher at 5,994.51. Euronext 100 is up by 0.35% to 866.76 while France’s CAC 40 is higher by 0.52% at 4,403.16. However, DAX is trading lower by 16.44 points at 9.864.38.
Meanwhile, US stock futures entered in positive territory today after recording a substantial decline yesterday. US markets seem to be ambivalent that the Fed has not deferred from its stance of gradual monetary tightening, at least not in word. Both Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 Index fell by 1.38% and 1.09% respectively at the close of the previous trading session, showing uneasiness over the Fed monetary stance.