Asian Stocks Lower as Investors Await U.S. Data

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Asian Stocks Lower as Investors Await U.S. Data
Asian Stocks Lower as Investors Await U.S. Data

Asian Stocks Lower as Investors Await U.S. Data

Asian stocks opened lower today as stock exchanges of Australia, South Korea and China received dull trading. A major reason behind the lower trade in China is due to the fact that the manufacturing sector in the country is awaiting the release of U.S. data that might provide clearer signs about when the Federal Reserve will cut its monetary stimulus.

The major loser in today’s trade is Thailand wherein its benchmark declined 1 percent to 1,357.42. The country is facing political issues as protesters vowed to continue a campaign to topple the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. The protests have continued for quite some time now and prompting investors not to invest.

On speculation about the new data from the U.S. government, China’s Shanghai’s Composite Index dropped 1.6 percent to 2,183.88. The drop in index is attributed to the fact that two surveys showed Chinese manufacturing barely expanded in November in further evidence of sluggish recovery. Earlier, Asian Development Bank had predicted for steady but slow growth.

Major Indexes in Asia

There was a slight movement in Japanese indexes, as Japan’s Nikkei 225 eased 0.3 percent to 15,610.40. Similar trend was seen in Hong Kong’s Hang Seng which rose 0.1 percent to 23,907.90. Hang Seng has been doing well recently; particularly, the last week was terrific for investors in Hong Kong.

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However, the losing streak for Seoul’s Kospi continued as it dropped 0.7 percent to 2,031.10. Following the downward movement trend Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.9 percent to 5,271.60. However, there was a bright trading day for some stock markets in Southeast Asia, Thailand was an exception though.

Investors are waiting for Any Decision on Fed Stimulus

Investors not only in the U.S. but in various economies in Asia are waiting for any decision on the quantum of stimulus. Moreover, as markets seem to be winding down ahead of year-end holidays, they are also looking for any decision on $85 billion of monthly bond purchases. Any tapering or no tapering at all will determine a lot many things.

Amidst the speculation, the Standard & Poor’s 500 declined one point and closed at 1,805.81. A similar trend was followed by the Dow Jones industrial average which fell 10 points to close at 16,086.41. However, energy market seems upbeat as benchmark crude for January delivery was up 58 cents to $93.30 a barrel in electronic trading on the NYMEX.

To contact the reporter of this story: Jonathan Millet at john@forexminute.com