Global Market Quick Take: Asia – March 11, 2024 Global Market Quick Take: Asia – March 11, 2024 Global Market Quick Take: Asia – March 11, 2024

Global Market Quick Take: Asia – March 11, 2024

Macro 6 minutes to read
APAC Strategy Team

Summary:  US jobs report sent dovish-tilting signals to market, and stocks and bonds were choppy. Dollar upside getting harder, with focus primarily on Gold and Japanese yen (JPY). Gold clinching to further fresh highs at the open in Asia, and JPY pushing lower as bets for a pivot at the BOJ meeting next week gather pace. China’s NPC concluding remarks from President Xi will be in focus today, and eyes turn to US CPI due tomorrow.


The Saxo Quick Take is a short, distilled opinion on financial markets with references to key news and events. 

US Equities: On Friday, the US equity market saw a downturn, with the S&P 500 sliding 0.7% to 5,124, while the Nasdaq 100 recorded a more substantial loss of 1.5%, closing at 18,018. Notably, Nvidia underwent a dramatic intra-day reversal, concluding 5.6% lower at $875.28 after a morning surge that reached a record $974. Weakness was evident in the broader semiconductor sector, with the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index retreating 4%, erasing the entire week's gains. Marvell Technology and Broadcom reported disappointing results, with Marvell down 11.4% and Broadcom down 7%, citing growth in the AI business offset by weaknesses in other segments. Investors are closely monitoring whether the dramatic upward trend in Nvidia and semiconductor stocks is facing a significant halt or just a temporary retracement. This development will have global ramifications, particularly on semiconductor stocks trading in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan.

Hong Kong/China Equities: On Friday, the Hang Seng Index closed 0.8% higher at 16,353, marking the second weekly loss in a row with a 1.4% decline. Despite market weakness, solar stocks stood out, with GCL and Xinyi Solar rising more than 9%. Semiconductor-related stocks like Hua Hong gained 3.8%. After the Hong Kong market closed, ZTE reported full-year revenue and earnings slightly below estimates. In A-shares, CSI300 edged up 0.4% on Friday but ended the week with a 0.2% increase. Notably, TMT, AI, electronics, and petrochemical stocks outperformed.

Over the weekend, China's Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased slightly, alleviating deflation concerns to some extent. On Monday, investors will closely watch for the concluding remarks from President Xi at the conclusion of the National People's Congress meeting, which is scheduled to start at 3 p.m.

Fixed income: In the Treasury market, the latest employment report generated subdued reactions. The 2-year yield exhibited a modest decline of 3bps, settling at 4.47%, while the 10-year yield edged down by 1bp to 4.07%. Throughout the week, the 2-year yield fell 6bps, and the 10-year yield dipped 10bps. With the job data now behind, market participants are awaiting the release of the CPI report scheduled for Tuesday. This report holds significance in the lead-up to the upcoming FOMC rate decision and its summary of economic projections, widely known as the dot plot, scheduled for March 20.

FX: The price action in the dollar continues to be two-way, but clearly lacking an upside impetus now with markets looking ahead to Fed rate cuts and US exceptionalism starting to weaken. Yen heavily in focus this week, with speculation around BOJ meeting on March 19 continuing to gather pace (read Macro section below). USDJPY slipped below 147 breaking below the 100DMA and 200DMA comes next at 146.22. EURJPY heading for a test of 100DMA at 160.10 and break could open the door to 200DMA at 158.37. GBP also extended its gains to 1.29 handle before USD staged a recovery, bringing GBPUSD back to 1.2850. EURGBP heading lower to test 0.85 handle, a level that has held up over 2023. AUDUSD still above 0.66 and NZDUSD just below 0.62 as US CPI becomes the next big focus.

Commodities: Gold ended the week with gains of 4.6%, and extended to a fresh record high of $2,180+ in Asia morning today as markets interpreted Friday’s jobs report in a dovish tilt. Geopolitical tensions also persisted with lack of a ceasefire as the fasting month of Ramadan began. Brent crude oil ended the week lower, despite Middle East tensions and OPEC+ production cuts and focus remains on demand outlook as China measures again fell short of market expectations. US inflation comes next on Tuesday and OPEC will also release its monthly market report.

Macro:

  • US NFP report for February showed that job growth is slowing but labor market remains resilient. The headline job growth beat at 275k vs 200k expected, but January print as revised lower to 229k from 353k. Dovish hints also came from higher unemployment rate and softening wage pressures. The unemployment rate saw a notable move higher to 3.9% from 3.7% despite expectations for this to be left unchanged, and wages came in at 4.3% YoY (vs. 4.4% prior, 4.4% exp) and 0.1% MoM (vs. 0.3% exp). Market pricing was broadly unchanged, and February CPI now in focus, due on Tuesday.
  • In February, China's CPI exceeded expectations, rising by 0.7% compared to the median forecast of 0.3%. On a month-on-month basis, headline consumer inflation increased by 1.0%, driven by higher prices in food and services. The core CPI, excluding food and energy, marked a 1.2% Y/Y increase, reaching the highest level since February 2022. The Lunar New Year off-season in industrial production contributed to a 0.2% M/M decline in PPI, leading to a widened year-on-year decline of 2.7%.
  • China’s Minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, Ni Hong reiterated during an NPC press conference that China adheres to the principle that housing is for living in, not for speculation. This involves improving a housing supply that combines market-based and subsidized affordable housing. Ni revealed that more than RMB 200 billion of financial help had been granted by banks to over 6,000 property projects of which 82% was related to private developers. He went on to say that insolvent developers should undergo restructuring or be wound up.
  • Japan’s Q4 GDP was revised substantially higher and confirms that Japan is not in a technical recession. Annualized Q4 GDP now at 0.4% QoQ vs. -0.4% QoQ in the preliminary print. This further puts focus on BOJ pivot as early as March or April after a weekend report from a Japanese media outlet Jiji Press which said that the Bank of Japan is considering scrapping its yield curve control program and instead indicating in advance the amount of government bonds it plans to purchase. Jiji said that BOJ will stop its program to guide benchmark 10-year government bond yields to around 0%, as part of its efforts to normalize monetary policy, and the new framework would target the volume of purchases, rather than the yield. The report also said that the bank will decide on that and ending negative interest rates as soon as the next policy meeting concluding on March 19.

Macro events: Norway CPI

Earnings: Oracle, Swire Properties

In the news:

  • China Readies $27 Billion Chip Fund to Counter Growing US Curbs (Bloomberg)
  • US Mulls Blacklisting CXMT to Further Curb China’s Chip Advance (Bloomberg)
  • Nvidia is sued by authors over AI use of copyrighted works (Reuters)
  • Costco stock closes for worst day in nearly two years on quarterly revenue miss (Reuters)
  • Tech stocks see biggest weekly outflow on record, Bank of America says (Reuters)
  • Novo Nordisk confident of amycretin obesity drug launch this decade (Reuters)

 

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