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Nikkei Recovers, Hang Seng Slips Amid Wait For Fed Comments

Investors snapped up Japanese stocks after sharp losses in the previous session but uncertainties about the BoJ’s policy path weighed on investor sentiment

Asian stock markets round-up.
A man wearing a mask walks past an electronic board showing the Shanghai stock index, the Nikkei index and Dow Jones average outside a brokerage in Tokyo. Photo: Reuters


Most Asia shares rose on Tuesday as traders tracked overnight gains on Wall Street and awaited remarks from a bevy of US Federal Reserve officials on the trajectory ahead for rate cuts.

The main market focus in Asian hours was on the Reserve Bank of Australia, which kept rates at a 12-year high of 4.35%, as expected.

But it warned there were still reasons to be vigilant against inflation risks, and gave markets little sense of its future path.


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“Uncertainty was once again a key theme within the (RBA’s) statement,” economists at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia said.

“The upshot is that the [RBA] board is going out of its way not to provide any forward guidance given the cross currents in the economic data.”

Ebbing worries over political turmoil in Europe also added to the buoyant market mood. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.70%.

Taiwanese stocks led gains in the region with the benchmark index in Taipei hitting a record closing high, on the back of a blistering tech rally. Among the top gainers were chipmakers Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), which gained 2.39%, and MediaTek, which rose 1.81%.

Gains in technology stocks were also boosted by Nasdaq futures, which hovered around record highs on, backed by chip stocks. Mega-caps Apple, Microsoft and Nvidia edged higher between 0.4% and 0.8% in premarket trading.

US-listed shares of TSMC were also up 1.6%.


Investors snap up Japan stocks

Also among the top performers in Asia was Japan’s Nikkei share average, as investors bought stocks after sharp losses in the previous session.

The Nikkei rose 1% at 38,482.11, after falling 1.8% on Monday, below the psychologically key 38,000 level for the first time this month. The broader Topix ended 0.58% higher at 2,715.76.

Chip-making equipment maker Tokyo Electron rose 2.7% to provide the biggest boost to the Nikkei.

Meanwhile, Apple supplier TDK jumped 6.32% after the electronic parts maker said it successfully developed materials for all-solid-state batteries with 100 times the energy density.

The Nikkei fell more than it should have in the previous session, so investors bought back stocks, Seiichi Suzuki, chief equity market analyst at Tokai Tokyo Intelligence Laboratory, said.

But uncertainties about the Bank of Japan’s policy path weighed on investor sentiment, limiting the Nikkei’s advance, strategists said.

Speaking in Parliament on Tuesday, BoJ Governor Kazuo Ueda said the central bank could raise interest rates next month depending on economic data available at the time.


China stocks edge up

Elsewhere across the region, Singapore, Seoul and Bangkok all closed in the green while Manila slipped.

Indian shares also finished at record closing highs for a third consecutive session, led by gains in technology firms and private banks, and boosted by strong domestic inflows as well as a climb in global equities.

Investor sentiment was buoyant in China too where stocks edged up, tracking regional markets higher. At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was up 0.48% at 3,030.25.

The blue-chip CSI300 index was up 0.27%, with its financial sector sub-index higher by 0.32%.

Hong Kong stocks emerged as outliers in the region, however, with the Hang Seng index down 20.57 points or 0.11% at 17,915.55 by close of trade.


What’s ahead

Global investors are looking to a slew of speakers from the Federal Reserve for more clues on the US central bank’s rate-cutting trajectory following last week’s decision to stay pat on policy.

No fewer than six Fed speakers are on the docket on Tuesday. Futures now point to roughly 45 bps worth of Fed cuts priced in for the rest of 2024.

US retail sales are also due later in the day.

Meanwhile, central banks in Norway, Britain and Switzerland are also due to meet this week, where bets are for the former two to hold steady on rates and for the Swiss National Bank to deliver another 25 basis points (bps) of easing.


Key figures:

Tokyo – Nikkei 225 > UP 1.00% at 38,482.11 (close)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng Index < DOWN 0.11% at 17,915.55 (close)

Shanghai – Composite > UP 0.48% at 3,030.25 (close)

London – FTSE 100 > UP 0.47% at 8,180.63 (1308 GMT)

New York – Dow > UP 0.49% at 38,778.10 (Monday close)


  • Reuters, with additional editing by Vishakha Saxena


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Vishakha Saxena

Vishakha Saxena is the Multimedia and Social Media Editor at Asia Financial. She has worked as a digital journalist since 2013, and is an experienced writer and multimedia producer. As a trader and investor, she is keenly interested in new economy, emerging markets and the intersections of finance and society. You can write to her at [email protected]


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