Thursday 21st May: Asian markets lose on Japan data.

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Global Markets:

  • Asian Stock Markets : Nikkei down 0.21%, Shanghai Composite down 0.55%, Hang Seng down 0.67%, ASX down 0.41%
  • Commodities : Gold at $1737.95 (-0.81%), Silver at $17.75 (-1.59%), Brent Oil at $36.28 (+1.48%), WTI Oil at $34.16 (+2.00%)
  • Rates : US 10-year yield at 0.669, UK 10-year yield at 0.203, Germany 10-year yield at -0.489

News & Data:

  • (EUR) German Flash Services PMI 31.4 vs 26.3 expected
  • (EUR) German Flash Manufacturing PMI 36.8 vs 39.3 expected
  • (EUR) French Flash Manufacturing PMI 40.3 vs 36 expected
  • (EUR) French Flash Services PMI 29.4 vs 27.9 expected
  • (CAD) CPI m/m -0.70% vs -0.60% expected
  • (GBP) CPI y/y 0.80% vs 0.90% expected
  • Recession-hit Japan’s exports, imports fall due to pandemic

Markets Update:

Asian stocks were mixed on Thursday in a somewhat volatile session, with some indexes giving up gains from earlier in the session.

Investors were looking ahead to a key policy gathering in China that may yield more economic stimulus, while recent data from around the world reinforced views that a sustainable recovery may not come for several months. Japan’s trade data for April released by the country’s Ministry of Finance on Thursday showed exports in April plunging 21.9% as compared to a year earlier. That was less than the 22.7% drop predicted by economists in a Reuters poll.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 closed 0.2% lower while the Topix index finished its trading day 0.2%. Mainland Chinese stocks dipped on the day, with the Shanghai composite 0.6% while the Shenzhen component declined 0.9%. Shares in Australia slipped by the close, with the S&P/ASX 200 down 0.4%.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 99.303 after touching levels around 99 earlier. The greenback also gained against the Australian and New Zealand dollars in a sign that some investors remain averse to risk.

The minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s April 28-29 Federal Open Market Committee meeting released overnight said that the virus posed both a severe economic threat and a risk to financial stability. At the same time, they reaffirmed a pledge to keep interest rates near zero until they are confident the economy is on track to recovery.

Upcoming Events:

  • 08:00 AM GMT – (EUR) Flash Manufacturing PMI
  • 08:00 AM GMT – (EUR) Flash Services PMI
  • 08:30 AM GMT – (GBP) Flash Manufacturing PMI
  • 08:30 AM GMT – (GBP) Flash Services PMI
  • 12:30 PM GMT – (USD) Philly Fed Manufacturing Index
  • 12:30 PM GMT – (USD) Unemployment Claims
  • 01:45 PM GMT – (USD) Flash Manufacturing PMI
  • 06:30 PM GMT – (USD) Fed Chair Powell Speaks
  • 10:45 PM GMT – (NZD) Retail Sales q/q