- Asia-Pacific equities drift lower as China, India and Japan lead bears.
- Aussie PMIs came in firmer, Jibun Bank Manufacturing PMI eases in February.
- Biden-Putin summit favors US stock futures to reverse early Asian session losses, Treasury yields remain pressured amid US holiday.
- PBOC keeps rates unchanged, China’s fresh regulations weigh on equities.
Markets in Asia fail to portray a broad risk-on mood amid mixed feelings at home. While portraying the mood, MSCI’s index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan drops 0.66% whereas Japan’s Nikkei 225 also prints 0.80% daily losses heading into Monday’s European session.
Equities in Japan bear the burden of geopolitical fears concerning Ukraine and North Korea as the latest improvements over Moscow-Kyiv tussles remain elusive. Also, softer prints of Japan’s Jibun Bank Manufacturing PMI for February, to 52.9 from 55.4 prior, add to the downside pressure on the Nikkei 225.
Further, news that China’s Tongcheng Travel Holdings and Evergrande Property Services Group will be removed from Hang Seng Tech Index and Hang Seng China Enterprises Index respectively weighed on equities from Beijing. The news pours cold water on China’s efforts to keep the economy fluid. Recently, the People’s Bank of China’s (PBOC) kept the benchmark Loan Prime Rate (LPR) of 3.7% unchanged.
Elsewhere, stocks in India were softer, with the BSE Sensex down 0.90% intraday at the latest, as markets brace for hawkish Reserve Bank of India (RBI) after the latest inaction by the Indian central bank.
Alternatively, equities from Australia and New Zealand remain firmer as policymakers ease virus-led border controls while the chatters surrounding the Biden-Putin summit also favor broad risk-on mood. That said, Indonesia’s IDX Composite Prints mild gains but South Korea’s KOSPI remains mildly offered at the latest as traders struggle for clear direction.
On a broader front, the Presidents’ Day holiday in the US financial markets restrict Treasury yields’ performance but stock futures reverse early Asian gains on hopes of Ukraine diplomacy.