Asian stocks rose slightly in line with the gains on Wall Street, while the dollar stopped its sharp rise, which was seen by the month-end levels increasing investor appetite and expectations of further rate hikes.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan (.MIAPJ0000PUS) rose 0.25% but is poised to lose 6% on a monthly basis. Japan’s Nikkei index
It rose 0.44%.
China’s stock market rose 0.4%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index
It rose 1% but is poised to end its three-month gains as gains slowed after China eased strict coronavirus restrictions.
Another factor that put pressure on stocks in China was the increase in geopolitical tensions. Relations between the US and China create uncertainty for investors.
While the US stock markets rose slightly yesterday as investors bought shares at cheap prices after last week’s sharp declines, concerns persisted that interest rate hikes will continue to curb inflation, which continues its high course.
Fed futures are pricing in at least three more rate hikes, with the policy rate rising to 5.4% from the current 4.50%-4.75% range, peaking at this level, and a 50 basis point hike in March.
(The following data are as of 0825 CET. The ones with ‘*’ sign next to them are closing data.)
Sterling remained flat, preserving gains yesterday after the UK signed a new trade agreement with the European Union (EU).
The agreement signed yesterday created positive expectations for the post-Brexit course of the British economy and signaled that relations between London and the union are improving.
It remained flat at 104,770 but is poised to gain 2.5% on a monthly basis.
dollar versus yen
It remained flat at 136.23.
After rising 0.6% yesterday, it was last traded at $1.0614, up 0.05% today.
Sterling on the dollar
After rising 1% yesterday, it rose to $1,2069 today.
Oil prices remained flat in Asian transactions as expectations that a robust recovery in the Chinese economy would boost fuel demand offset expectations that continued interest rate hikes in the US would adversely affect demand.
Brent crude oil price per barrel
It was trading at $82.59, up 0.17%.
US light crude oil
It was trading at $75.90, up 0.29%.
Gold prices slumped as expectations of the Fed’s continued rate hikes eroded the attractiveness of bearish gold and are poised to record the biggest monthly decline since June 2021.
The ounce price of gold in the spot market
It was down 0.20% to trade at $1,814.65.
US gold futures
It fell 0.1% to $1,823.30.