Asian Market Update – Friday: Asian markets edge up ahead of US jobs report

jobs report

The Big Question: How will markets continue to ignore negative headlines and rally?

Major equity markets in Asia edged up in early trading on Friday, tracking persistent gains in US stocks as markets await a jobs report later today.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 tacked on 0.22 percent to 20,674.75 at midday.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng moved up 0.36 percent to 28,480.51 in morning trading after market participants returned from a public holiday on Thursday.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.84 percent to 5,699.10 at midday.

Markets on the Chinese mainland and in South Korea remain closed for public holidays.

Friday’s gains in Asian markets followed another day of gains on Wall Street. The S&P 500 posted its first eight-day winning streak in more than four years, while Nasdaq and the Dow also posted big gains.

The wide-spread rally in global markets over the last few days was largely attributed by analysts to a slew of strong economic data released by major economies, including the US and China.

Also, in the US, a highly Wall Street-friendly tax reform plan has gained renewed traction.

In China, economic growth and financial markets are expected to remain steady in the second half of the year ahead of and following a big party meeting in mid-October.

The gains in global markets this week also showed that investors were able to ignore negative headlines, including one of the deadliest shootings in history in Las Vegas.

Today, investors are awaiting a fresh set of data on US jobs for September. Though the US has so far posted strong jobs data, many believe that the September jobs report could take a heavy hit from the two hurricanes that occurred that month.

Main Market Movers – Mid-day Asian Trading Session

Indexes Value at Midday Daily Change
Japan-Nikkei 225 20,674.75 0.22%
Australia-ASX 200 5,699.10 0.84%
Hong Kong – Hang Seng Index 28,480.51 0.36%

Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies pointed higher with minor gains overnight during the Asian trading session on Friday.

The bitcoin price gained 0.33 percent to $4,315 around midday in Asia. Bitcoin has been consolidating around the $4,300 level since the beginning of the week.

Etherum was nearly unchanged Friday morning, trading at $295 as of midday in Asia. Etherum has shown weak gains in the last few days, trading below $300 since Monday.

The price of litecoin slipped 0.15 percent to $51.66 at midday Friday.

In the news: The central bank in Singapore has taken a new step forward in its effort to incorporate blockchain technology in the financial sector. The Monetary Authority of Singapore revealed new software that would allow for decentralized blockchain settlements in the global interbank market and between central banks. By doing this, Singapore is taking a leading role in finding real-world uses for blockchain technology instead of fighting it, as several other governments do.

Currencies

The Japanese yen lost 0.17 percent against the US dollar at midday Monday to 112.99 per dollar.

The Australian dollar also lost 0.53 percent on the dollar, changing hands at 1.2896 per dollar at midday.

Commodities

WTI Oil was down 0.06 percent to $50.69 per barrel.

Brent Crude was down 0.09 percent to $56.91 per barrel.

Gold lost 0.03 percent to $1,267 an ounce.

Business News across Asia

China-India relations: Bilateral relations between two of Asia’s largest economies have shown signs of renewed tension after news reports emerged that some Chinese citizens have been arrested or detained, while others were denied entry. The Chinese embassy in India has issued at least three warnings for Chinese tourists to India in the past few months.

The bilateral relationship recently improved from a months-long border standoff last month after the two reached peaceful resolution.

Take Away: Rising tension between China and India could hit businesses in both countries and their economies, as well as the huge potential impact of China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” across the region.

Featured image from Flickr.

Author:
Fredrik Vold is an entrepreneur, financial writer, and technical analysis enthusiast. He has been working and traveling in Asia for several years, and is currently based out of Beijing, China. He closely follows stocks, forex and cryptocurrencies, and is always looking for the next great alternative investment opportunity.