28/12/2021 Asian stocks were mixed Tuesday as traders evaluated economic growth risks from the omicron virus outbreak and the latest regulatory tightening in China.
Equities rose in Japan but wavered in Hong Kong and China amid sweepingrules from Beijing for overseas share sales — one of China’s biggest steps to tighten scrutiny of international debuts. A Covid outbreak driven by the delta strain in the western city of Xi’an festered, with new cases hitting a record.
The Hang Seng Tech Index slid as much as 1.6% amid holiday-thinned trading, approaching a record-low close from last week.
U.S. and European futures fluctuated following the S&P 500’s 69th close at an all-time high this year. Shorter maturity U.S. Treasury yields rose, while those for longer-dated bonds were steady. The dollar was little changed and oil pushed higher. Global shares are on course for a third year of double-digit returns, powered by the U.S. surge. The climb has overcome coronavirus waves and a shift by some key central banks toward tighter monetary policy to fight high inflation. Concerns remain that those variables could spur heightened volatility.
Locally the JSE All-Share closed 0.16 percent lower on Xmas Eve but the index is still up more 20% for 2021. The rand rallied more than 3 percent through the week to touch R 15,50/$ and is still firm this a.m at R 45.55/$ and R 20.90/GBP. We should be in for a mixed start after a strong session in the US will be off-set by the weakness in Chinese Tech names, Tencent is 2.5 percent lower, US Futures are a tad softer and IG Markets top 40 is up 102 points.
U.S. indexes rose overnight as markets reopened after the Christmas holiday and investors assessed the spread of the omicron Covid-19 variant. The S&P 500 gained nearly 1.4% to close at 4,791.19, marking its 69th record close of the year. The index also hit an intraday record for the first time in more than a month. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 352 points, or roughly 1%, at 36,302. The Nasdaq Composite ticked up about 1.4% to 15 871. Investors are still after the Santa Claus rally to close out a year in which the S&P 500 has returned more than 27%.
Oil gained more ground this morning with prices trading close to last session’s one-month high on expectations that the Omicron coronavirus variant will have only a limited impact on global demand. Brent + 0.37% $ 78.89, WTI + 0.48% $ 75.93
Gold held steady on Tuesday at near one-week high hit in the previous session as the U.S. dollar and Treasury yields, key influences on bullion prices, were largely flat. Gols Spot $ 1812, Plat $ 973 and Palladium $ 1951.