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Asia-Pacific markets trade higher as expectations for faster central bank tightening rise

Soegeefx AppsAsia MarketAsia-Pacific markets trade higher as expectations for faster central bank tightening rise

Key Points

  • Asia-Pacific markets mostly rose Tuesday following a quiet day on Wall Street where the U.S. markets were closed for a public holiday.
  • Global interest rates continue to climb on expectations of faster central bank tightening, according to Tapas Strickland, director for economics and markets at the National Australia Bank.
  • Elsewhere, Chinese President Xi Jinping cautioned against a rapid rise in interest rates on Monday that could derail the global recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

SINGAPORE — Asia-Pacific markets mostly rose Tuesday following a quiet day on Wall Street where the U.S. markets were closed for a public holiday.

In Japan, the benchmark Nikkei 225 climbed 0.84% and the Topix index rose 0.5%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index advanced 0.48% while the tech-focused Hang Seng Tech index added 1.72%.

Chinese mainland shares also rose: The Shanghai composite was up 0.47% while the Shenzhen component added 0.36%.

Australia’s ASX 200 retraced most of its earlier gains and traded near flat as the heavily weighted financials subindex faltered 0.45%.

South Korea’s Kospi index bucked the generally upward trend and was down 0.22%, but the Kosdaq rose 0.15%, despite trimming some of its earlier gains.

Global interest rates continue to climb on expectations of faster central bank tightening, according to Tapas Strickland, director for economics and markets at the National Australia Bank.

“As for central bank pricing, markets now fully price four rate hikes from the US Fed in 2022, and the timing of the first ECB rate hike has been brought forward to September. The exception is China with the [People’s Bank of China] cutting rates by 10bps yesterday amid an uncertain growth outlook,” he wrote in a Tuesday morning note.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping cautioned against a rapid rise in interest rates on Monday that could derail the global recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

“If major economies slam on the brakes or take a U-turn in their monetary policies, there would be serious negative spillovers,” Xi said via videoconference at The Davos Agenda virtual event.

“They would present challenges to global economic and financial stability, and developing countries would bear the brunt of it,” he said, according to an English translation of his remarks.

He also called for countries to move away from a “Cold War mentality,” saying history has repeatedly shown that confrontation only invites disastrous repercussions.

In the previous session, Asia markets had a muted reaction to official data out of China, which showed the world’s second-largest economy grew faster than expected between October and December.

Strickland pointed out that the outlook for China’s economy has “much more uncertainty,” and that the country’s zero-Covid policy is “dragging on the economy, and add to that the lost momentum due to problems in the property sector.”

Currencies and oil

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar slipped 0.12% to 95.143 against a basket of its peers, after climbing from levels below 95.00 in the previous week.

The Japanese yen changed hands at 114.55, strengthening from an earlier level around 114.63. The Australian dollar rose 0.12% to $0.7219.

TICKER COMPANY NAME PRICE CHANGE %CHANGE
.N225 Nikkei 225 Index *NIKKEI 28574.15 240.63 0.85
.HSI Hang Seng Index *HSI 24356.49 138.46 0.57
.AXJO S&P/ASX 200 *ASX 200 7423.8 6.5 0.09
.SSEC Shanghai *SHANGHAI 3576.32 34.66 0.98
.KS11 KOSPI Index *KOSPI 2889.51 -0.59 -0.02
.FTFCNBCA CNBC 100 ASIA IDX *CNBC 100 10275.59 28.61 0.28

Oil prices rose during Asian trading hours, with U.S. crude advancing 1.04% to $84.69 a barrel while the global benchmark Brent added 0.62% to $87.02.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, is due to release its monthly oil market report on Tuesday where traders are likely to watch for signs that global oil demand has been affected by the surge in Covid cases around the world.

Source : CNBC

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