18th May 2022 Wednesday: Asian markets cheer on JPow’s comments

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Global Markets:

  • Asian Stock Markets : Nikkei up 0.94%, Shanghai Composite down 0.25%, Hang Seng up 0.14%, ASX up 0.99%
  • Commodities : Gold at $1814.22 (-0.26%), Silver at $21.66 (-0.40%), Brent Oil at $113.47 (+1.38%), WTI Oil at $111.52 (+1.72%)
  • Rates : US 10-year yield at 2.979, UK 10-year yield at 1.852, Germany 10-year yield at 1.054

News & Data:

  • (GBP) CPI y/y 9.00% vs 9.10% expected
  • (AUD) Wage Price Index q/q 0.70% vs 0.80% expected
  • (USD) Retail Sales m/m 0.90% vs 1.00% expected
  • (USD) Core Retail Sales m/m 0.60% vs 0.40% expected
  • ECB’s Lagarde gives national central bank chiefs louder voice on policy
  • Japan economy minister Yamagiwa: Economy to pick up but uncertainty due to Ukraine

Markets Update:

Asian stock markets are mostly higher on Wednesday, following the broadly positive cues overnight from Wall Street, as traders indulged in buying after US Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s positive comments about the strength of the economy and news of lifting of lockdown restrictions in China.

Persistent inflation and aggressive rate hikes had stoked concerns about a potential recession. Powell said he is confident that the central bank can raise rates and deal with inflation without sending the economy into recession. He added that the economy is strong and is well positioned to withstand less accommodative monetary policy.

The Japanese stock market is sharply higher on Wednesday, extending the gains in the previous three sessions, with the Nikkei 225 moving above the 26,800 level, following the broadly positive cues overnight from Wall Street, as traders reacted to better-than-expected GDP data. The Australian stock market is significantly higher on Wednesday, extending the gains in the previous three sessions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 just below the 7,200 level, driven by gains in materials and technology stocks. Mainland Chinese stocks closed lower, with the Shanghai Composite down 0.25% to 3,085.98 while the Shenzhen Component dipped 0.197% to around 11,208.08. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong sat fractionally lower, as of its final hour of trading.

Crude oil prices pared early gains and settled lower Tuesday, reacting to reports that the Biden administration is set to ease some of the sanctions imposed on Venezuela. The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 103.546 after a recent decline from levels above 104.

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