World Economy

Asian Equities Higher, Recovery Continues

Asian Equities Higher, Recovery Continues
Asian Equities Higher, Recovery Continues

Asian equities opened higher Wednesday in reaction to the rebound in US equities overnight. Dow Jones industrial average closed up 117.65 pts or 0.72% to close at 16515.22 but was kept well below 17000 handle.

Nikkei is up 2.7%, HK Hang Seng Index was up 2% and China Shanghai Stock Exchange composite was up 0.8%, Yahoo reported.

Trade data from China also provided some support to sentiments. Trade surplus widened to $58.2 billion in December versus expectation of $52.2 billion.

In yuan term, exports surprised with 2.3% y-o-y rise comparing to expectation of -4.1% y-o-y drop. Imports dropped for the 14th month in yuan terms. That’s thanks to recent depreciation in yuan. Meanwhile, in US dollar terms, exports dropped -6.8% y-o-y to $197.4 billion while imports dropped -8.8% y-o-y to $143.1 billion.

In the currency markets, commodity currencies are trading up for the week as risk sentiments recovered mildly. Aussie, Kiwi and Loonie are the stronger ones together with dollar. Swiss Franc is so far the weakest one, followed by Euro and Yen. Nonetheless, there is no clear sign of change in recent trends yet. Canadian dollar and British sterling resumed recent down trend against dollar and stay bearish. Euro and Swiss Franc are staying in range against the greenback and would continue to trade sideways.

In Eurozone, ECB governing council member Vitas Vasiliauskas said that monetary policy “should rather concentrate on core inflation”. And, the low oil price is the “new reality” and “helps the real economy”. “For the moment, ECB policy is effective, it works, credit growth is positive and the real economy is expanding.”

ECB governing council member Josef Bonnici said that “the oil price fall has some positive impacts through raising the purchasing power of eurozone households and this reinforces the asset purchase program.” And, “there is also an impact on inflation, not in the desired direction, so there is some degree of offsetting between these factors.”

ECB governing council member Francois Villeroy de Galhau said that “inflation remains too low, it’s true, but facing this situation we have been, in the eurosystem, active and effective.”

Looking ahead, the economic calendar is rather light today. Eurozone will soon release the industrial production. Fed will also release Beige Book economic report.