Asian stocks trade mixed as calls of further stimulus confront trade/political uncertainty

  • Expectations of further rate cuts from RBA/China, fiscal stimulus from India lure equity buyers.
  • US-China trade talks, Saudi strikes weigh on risk tone.
  • Light economic calendar highlights trade/political headlines, Fed speak for fresh impulse.

With the trade/political pessimism weighing on stimulus hopes (be it monetary or fiscal) from India, China and Australia, Asian stocks flash mixed signals before the European session begins on Friday.

While MSCI’s index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan registers modest gains, Japan’s NIKKEI and South Korea’s KOSPI cheer expectations of a Japan-South Korea and the US-Japan trade deals.

China’s HANG SENG struggles between gains and losses amid recent differences between the US and China, be it political or trade-related, whereas Australia’s ASX 200 gains nearly half a percent amid rising calls of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) further rate cuts considering Thursday’s uptick in headline Unemployment Rate. Further, New Zealand’s NZX 50 is in 0.30% profits as expectations of stimulus from largest consumer Australia please Kiwi traders.  Moving on, India’s BSE SENSEX welcomes the Reuters’ news that the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is up for announcing measures to boost the national growth. On the contrary, Indonesia’s Jakarta Composite Index and Malaysia’s FTSE Bursa Malaysia KFCI mark around 0.4% losses each.

The Saudi-led alliance launched military strikes in Yemen while gaining support from major global developed economies.

Looking forward, a lack of major data/events will keep traders near to trade/political headlines while seeking fresh market clues. However, public appearances by the Federal Reserve officials, namely the Federal Reserve Bank of New York President John Williams and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren, could also offer intermediate trade signals.

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