Tuesday, 26 October, 2021
E-paper

Asian shares steady

Asian shares steady

TOKYO: Asian shares steadied on Friday after losses earlier in the week, but China jitters and global growth concerns weighed on investors’ minds, while the dollar sat near a three-week high.

European shares also looked set to rise on opening with pan-region Euro Stoxx 50 futures up 0.61% and FTSE futures 0.41% higher, report agencies.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.12% on Friday but was set to finish down 2.7% on the week, which would be its worst week in four.

“We’re looking at a market that is nervous, though hasn’t seen sentiment turn outright bearish,” said Kyle Rodda, an analyst at IG markets.

“If you look for catalysts that could justify the next move to the upside in equities and risk assets, they are nowhere to be seen because global growth concerns are keeping investors on edge.”

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.23% with traders looking for oversold stocks after the benchmark posted its lowest close in 10 months the day before, as the saga around China Evergrande Group lurched towards a conclusion.

The embattled property developer’s shares dropped a further 11.8% on Friday, down 35% this week but there were gains elsewhere, including in technology stocks. The previously bruised Hang Seng Tech Index rose 2.8%, on track for its best day in three-and-a-half weeks.

Australian shares fell 0.8%, as a fall in iron ore prices hurt miners, but Chinese blue chips edged up 0.58% and Japan’s Nikkei gained 0.62% to head back towards a 31-year high hit on Monday.

U.S. stock futures, the S&P 500 e-minis, were up 0.7%.

Chinese data earlier this week suggested growth in the world’s second-largest economy will slow in the second half of this year, while economists polled by Reuters said they expected the U.S. economic rebound to have been dented in Q3, partly on the spread of the Delta coronavirus variant.

Respondents to that poll also pushed back expectations for the U.S. Federal Reserve to announce a tapering of asset purchases to November.

This means next week’s Fed policy meeting is likely less consequential than would have been expected a few months ago when many investors felt a September tapering announcement was an option, but traders will be still watching closely for any policy clues from the meeting, especially after the U.S. posted an unexpected increase in August retail sales on Thursdsay.