Wednesday 12th February: Asian markets higher even as Coronavirus death toll hits 1100

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Global Markets:

  • Asian Stock Markets : Nikkei up 0.74%, Shanghai Composite up 0.87%, Hang Seng up 1.01%, ASX up 0.47%
  • Commodities : Gold at $1567.35 (-0.18%), Silver at $17.53 (-0.40%), Brent Oil at $55.14 (+2.09%), WTI Oil at $50.70 (+1.52%)
  • Rates : US 10-year yield at 1.625, UK 10-year yield at 0.568, Germany 10-year yield at -0.369

News & Data:

  • (NZD) Official Cash Rate 1.00% vs 1.00% expected
  • (GBP) Manufacturing Production m/m 0.30% vs 0.50% expected
  • (GBP) GDP m/m 0.30% vs 0.20% expected
  • (GBP) Prelim GDP q/q 0.00% vs 0.00% expected
  • RBA’s Heath Says Virus Is ‘Serious Downside Risk’ to Growth
  • Fitch Affirms Korea at ‘AA-‘; Outlook Stable

Markets Update:

Asian stock markets are mostly higher on Wednesday following the mostly positive cues overnight from Wall Street. Investor sentiment was also boosted after China’s senior medical adviser said in an interview with Reuters that the coronavirus outbreak may hit a peak in China this month and the epidemic may be over by April. The coronavirus has killed more than 1,100 people in China.

Mainland Chinese stocks were higher by the afternoon, with the Shanghai composite recovering from its earlier slip to rise 0.9% while the Shenzhen component gained 1.2%.  In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.7% as shares of index heavyweight and conglomerate Softbank Group jumped 13% after a judge stateside approved a merger between T-Mobile and Sprint. Meanwhile, South Korea’s Kospi traded 0.7% higher. Stocks in Australia held on to gains, with the S&P/ASX 200 gaining 0.5% as shares of Commonwealth Bank of Australia surged 4%.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 98.751 after declining from levels above 98.8 seen yesterday. Oil futures, which have been in a downtrend since the start of the year, rose in Asia from 13-month lows due to budding optimism about the virus and hopes that output cuts by major producers will support prices.

The yuan gained slightly in onshore trade and safe-havens such as Treasuries, the yen and the Swiss franc were marginally weaker in a sign of slowly improving sentiment.

Upcoming Events:

  • 03:00 PM GMT – (USD) Fed Chair Powell Testifies
  • 03:30 PM GMT – (USD) Crude Oil Inventories
  • 07:10 PM GMT – (NZD) RBNZ Gov Orr Speaks