Asian Daily Market Review

By X-blogger - on March 20, 2024

Asian markets were largely higher on Wednesday following another record setting session overnight on Wall Street. Investors were also looking ahead to the U.S. Federal Reserve monetary policy decision just a day after Japan hiked its own interest rates and ended its negative interest rate policy. It’s expected for the Fed to keep interest rates unchanged at this meeting, but that didn’t stop the Yen from sinking to its lowest level against the U.S. dollar since 1990.

Japan’s markets remained closed for a public holiday, so we’ll have to wait to see investor reactions there as the Yen tests multi-decade lows versus the U.S. dollar.

In Australia the S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.1% lower after the Bank of Australia left interest rates at a 12-year high, while also signaling that they are done with rate increases. The big four banks helped contribute to the broad market weakness, with ANZ losing 0.4%, NAB and Commonwealth Bank ending slightly lower by 0.1%, and Westpac declining by 0.3%. The major miners helped to offset losses from the banks, with BHP adding 0.5% and Rio Tinto gaining 0.8%.

Mainland Chinese markets ended with gains as the benchmark Shanghai Composite tacked on 0.6% and the smaller cap Shenzhen Composite advanced 0.2% higher. Over in Hong Kong the Hang Seng underperformed the mainland, but still managed a slight 0.1% increase for the day.

In South Korea the Kospi shot higher by 1.3% to lead gains for the region, and in Taiwan the Taiex sank by 0.4%.

Southeast Asian markets were a mixed bag, with Singapore’s Straits Times Index inching higher by 0.1%, while Malaysia’s KLCI suffered a 0.6% loss.

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