Asian stocks remain under pressure ahead of EU/UK data, long weekend

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Shares on Asian exchanges followed global clues as investors remained cautious enough to book profits ahead of data from the EU and the UK, not to forget a long weekend due to the “Good Friday” holiday.

Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq slipped under 0.1% whereas S&P500 lost 0.23% on Wednesday after expectations of policy change dragged healthcare stocks down.

MSCI’s index of Asia-Pacific shares ex-Japan trimmed 0.2% off its nine-month high posted yesterday whereas Japan’s Nikkei lost 0.6% during press time. 

Australia’s upbeat employment data couldn’t propel ASX 200 as speculations of no more rate-cuts from their largest customer, China, signaled future hardships for the domestic economy.

China’s Hang Seng also shed 0.6% with India’s Sensex losing nearly 0.2%. Furthermore, Korea’s Kospi is more than 1.0% down on news that North Korea undertook weapon test whereas Indonesia’s Jakarta Composite Index bucked the trend with more than +0.6% gains after present President Joko Widodo seems a clear winner of the general election in unofficial results.

The risk-sentiment was also witnessed in 10-year treasury bond from the US as it dropped from 2.59% to 2.57%.

Investors may now concentrate on Markit purchasing manager index (PMI) figures from Germany and the EU, followed by the UK retail sales, in order to determine near-term trade direction.

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