Equity Markets Poised to Extend Gains

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Global equity markets look ready to extend their wins in today’s upcoming trading sessions, as there have been no negative reports coming from Ukraine or Russia recently. In today’s Asian trading session, most stocks were able to hold on to their gains from the previous days, when risk-taking rebounded on the heels of Russia’s Vladimir Putin withdrawing troops from Ukraine.

In Japan, the Nikkei chalked up an average 1.8% in gains for the day while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index advanced by 0.7%. The Shanghai Composite Index is up by a mere 0.1%, as the threat of more corporate bond defaults looms in China. Meanwhile, Australian equities remained flat despite stronger than expected Australian retail sales and trade balance figures. In Korea, Seoul’s Kospi index showed a 0.1% uptick while Mumbai’s Sensex yielded a 0.4% increase.

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The default in China’s Shanghai Chaori Solar Energy company is weighing on risk sentiment in the region, but the declines have been mostly centered on Chinese equities. Relief over the subsiding tension in Russia and Ukraine failed to carry over to the Chinese stock market for the second day in a row, as Beijing is starting to acknowledge weaknesses in its financial situation.

Meanwhile, risk-taking still seems shaky among other equities in today’s early trading sessions, as traders try to assess the likelihood of seeing a weak NFP reading from the US economy later on this week. Recall that the ADP non-farm employment change figure turned out to be a disappointment, along with the ISM non-manufacturing PMI and its jobs component. This led to cautious trading in both the forex and equity markets in the New York session, yielding mixed results among US equity indices.

Upcoming events that could influence overall stock price action are the US initial jobless claims release and the speeches by some Fed officials. Reassuring remarks on the state of the US economy and its labor sector could help support equity markets in their pursuit of extended gains in today’s London and US trading sessions.

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