Asia markets trade mixed as banking sector stress linger

Soegeefx AppsAsia MarketAsia markets trade mixed as banking sector stress linger

Jihye Lee & Lim Hui Jie

Asia-Pacific markets were mixed on Monday as investors continue to assess the impact of the banking troubles in the U.S and Europe.

On Friday, Deutsche Bank saw a selloff of its U.S.-listed shares, after the German lender’s credit default swaps jumped, without an apparent catalyst.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.26%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 also opened 0.15% higher and the Topix climbed 0.21%.

However, South Korea’s Kospi and Kosdaq were both down, falling by 0.13% and 0.06% respectively.

Hong Kong markets were also poised to fall, with Hang Seng futures trading at 19,864 compared to 19,915.68.

.N225 Nikkei 225 Index *NIKKEI 27365.08 -20.17 -0.07
.HSI Hang Seng Index *HSI 19915.68 0 0
.AXJO S&P/ASX 200 *ASX 200 6969.2 14 0.2
.SSEC Shanghai *SHANGHAI 3265.65 0 0
.KS11 KOSPI Index *KOSPI 2403.09 -11.87 -0.49
.FTFCNBCA CNBC 100 ASIA IDX *CNBC 100 8103.58 -20.85 -0.26

In the U.S., all three major indices closed higher to record a winning week, with Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining 1.2% week-to-date, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.4% and 1.7%, respectively.

— CNBC’s Hakyung Kim, Sarah Min and Alex Harring contributed to this report.

Japan’s services producer price index rose 1.8% in February

Japan’s services producer price index rose 1.8% in February year-on-year, up from a rise of 1.6% year-on-year seen in January.

Government data showed the reading marked the third consecutive month of accelerated gains.

The Japanese yen slightly weakened to 130.9 against the U.S. dollar following the report.

— Jihye Lee

Deutsche Bank’s U.S.-listed shares pull off lows

Deutsche Bank’s U.S.-listed shares slid 4.3% during midday trading, pulling off their lows. The bank stock earlier dropped 14% after the German lender’s credit default swaps jumped, without an apparent catalyst.

Investor concerns over the health of the European banking industry eased somewhat after European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said euro zone banks are resilient with strong capital and liquidity positions. Lagarde said the ECB could provide liquidity if needed.

Meanwhile, JPMorgan defended Deutsche Bank, saying Friday that investors should focus on the European bank’s “solid” fundamentals.

— Sarah Min

Stocks making the biggest midday moves

Here are some of the names making the biggest moves midday:

GameStop — The famed meme stock gained 2.5% in midday trading. The stock has been active since it reported its first profitable quarter in two years earlier this week.

Deutsche Bank  The German lender’s U.S.-listed shares slid 5%, bouncing off its lows. The bank stock had been down about 14% after the bank’s credit default swaps jumped without an apparent catalyst. JPMorgan defended Deutsche Bank Friday, saying investors should focus on the European bank’s “solid” fundamentals.

Regeneron  Regeneron gained 2.2% after Jefferies upgraded the pharmaceutical stock to a buy from hold rating and said its Dupixent drug, in development with Sanofi, could serve as the next big catalyst for the company.

— Brian Evans

Fed’s Bullard says policy responses have been ‘swift and appropriate’

St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard said Friday that central bank policy should help contain cracks in the financial system.

“Continued appropriate macroprudential policy can contain financial stress, while appropriate monetary policy can continue to put downward pressure on inflation,” Bullard said in a presentation.

His comments were similar to sentiments Wednesday from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, who said interest rate hikes are targeted at inflation while special lending facilities will keep banks liquid.

Bullard called the Fed’s actions to the banking problems “swift and appropriate.” He also noted that even with the financial tumult, economic data has been stronger than expected and said inflation has “declined recently.”

Presentation materials released with Bullard’s speech did not indicate a position on where rates should go from here. Markets are pricing in a strong possibility the Fed will not hike when it meets again in May. Bullard is a nonvoting member of the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee.

—Jeff Cox

Gold on pace to finish week higher

Despite seeing only a modest advance in Friday’s session, gold is up 1.4% so far this week. If gold finishes Friday’s session above its weekly flatline, it will mark the metal’s fourth straight winning week.

— Alex Harring, Gina Francolla

Source : cnbc

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