Friday 17th May 2024: Asian markets respond to mixed data with cautious optimism

Global Markets:

  •  Asian Stock Markets : Nikkei down 0.41%, Shanghai Composite up 0.22%, Hang Seng up 0.70% ASX down 0.83%
  • Commodities : Gold at $2386.5 (0.15%), Silver at $29.78 (0.01%), Brent Oil at $83.67 (0.48%), WTI Oil at $79.42 (0.28%)
  • Rates : US 10-year yield at 4.37, UK 10-year yield at 4.11, Germany 10-year yield at 2.45

News & Data:

  • (USD) Unemployment Claims 222K vs 219K expected
  • (USD) Building Permits 1.44M vs 1.48M expected
  • (USD) Housing Starts 4.5 vs 7.7 expected

Markets Update:

Friday saw mixed performance in Asia-Pacific markets as investors analyzed significant data from China and Singapore to assess regional economic health.

China’s retail sales for April rose by 2.3% compared to the previous year, falling short of the 3.8% forecast and slowing from March’s 3.1%. Mainland China’s CSI 300 index slipped by 0.20% in response. Singapore reported a 9.3% decline in non-oil domestic exports for April, although the rate of decrease was slower than the previous month.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 declined by 0.41%, while the broader Topix index initially fell but later rebounded to gain 0.26%. South Korea’s Kospi dropped by 0.93%, impacted by an unchanged unemployment rate of 2.8% in April. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 also fell, recording a decrease of 0.83%.

On the other hand, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose by 0.29%. In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average briefly exceeded 40,000 before closing slightly lower at 39,869.38. The S&P 500 reached a new record high, surpassing 5,300 for the first time, while the Nasdaq Composite also hit an all-time high. Despite these achievements, the S&P 500 fell by 0.21%, and the Nasdaq Composite ended the day 0.26% lower.

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