Global Market Quick Take: Asia – January 5, 2024 Global Market Quick Take: Asia – January 5, 2024 Global Market Quick Take: Asia – January 5, 2024

Global Market Quick Take: Asia – January 5, 2024

Macro 5 minutes to read
Redmond Wong

Chief China Strategist

Summary:  A stronger-than-expected increase in ADP private-sector employment and lower initial jobless claims lifted Treasury yields, pushing the 10-year yield to test 4%. The Yen weakened amid rising Treasury yields and reduced expectations for changes in Japan's monetary policy this month. USDJPY rose 0.9% to 144.63, approaching resistance at 144.95. Apple dipped 1.2% following a second analyst downgrade citing inventory concerns. Attention now turns to the eagerly awaited US jobs report.


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

US Equities: A rise in bond yields and selling in mega-cap stocks weighed on the benchmark indices, with the Nasdaq 100 shedding 0.5% to reach 16,282 and the S&P 500 Index sliding 0.3% to 4,689. Amazon declined 2.6%, while Apple fell 1.2% after an analyst issued the second downgrade from an investment bank this week, lowering the rating to neutral from overweight due to concerns about inventory overhangs. Walgreens Boots initially plunged as much as 12%, later paring some losses to settle at 5.1% lower, following the drugstore chain's dividend cut and revising guidance in retail comparable sales to a decline.

Fixed income: A stronger-than-expected increase in ADP private-sector employment data and a smaller-than-expected reading in initial jobless claims propelled yields higher across the curve. The 10-year Treasury yield tested 4% again and settled near the intraday high, up 8bps. The 2-year yield rose 5bps to 4.38%. Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the jobs report, in which investors will closely scrutinize non-farm payrolls (median forecast: +175k), hourly earnings (median forecast: +0.3% M/M, +3.9% Y/Y), and the unemployment rate (median forecast: 3.8%) to gain insights into the timing of the first rate cut by the Fed.

China/HK Equities: The Hang Seng Index concluded Thursday's session flat, oscillating between gains and losses within a narrow range, lacking clear direction. Hong Kong property developers saw declines following analyst downgrades, while shipping and energy stocks recorded gains. In the mainland, the CSI 300 Index declined by 0.9%, with food and beverage, real estate, and electric equipment stocks dragging down the performance. The Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the CCP held a meeting on Thursday to hear reports about party matters, and the post-meeting press release did not mention the economy.

FX: The Yen weakened as Treasury yields rose, coupled with diminishing expectations of changes to Japan’s ultra-loose monetary policy when a decision is due on January 23 following the BoJ’s two-day meeting. After the recent earthquake in Japan, some economists who were calling for policy changes in January removed their calls. USDJPY increased by 0.9% to 144.63, with its next major resistance at 144.95 in sight. Nonetheless, market participants still assign a significant probability of the BoJ ending its negative interest rate policy in April.

Commodities: According to EIA data, US nation-wide crude oil inventories fell 5.5 million barrels last week, surpassing 5.0 million expected. However, netting the 1 million barrels addition to the strategic petroleum reserve, the decline narrowed 4.4 million barrels. In addition, high inventories in Cushing, the delivery point for the WTI futures contracts, and build-up in gasoline and distillates inventories exerted downward pressure on crude oil. The WTI crude dropped by 0.7% to $72.19 and the Brent crude fell 0.8% to $77.59. Looking ahead for Q1, Saxo’s Head of Commodity Strategy, Ole Hansen, expects Brent crude oil to be rangebound around $80 as non-OPEC+ supply and concerns about global growth offset OPEC+ production cuts and the impact of the Middle East tension.

Macro:

  • Initial jobless claims in the US fell to 202k last week, down from the prior week’s revised figure of 220k, which was below the economists' expected 216k. Additionally, continuous claims dropped to 1,855k from the prior week’s revised 1,886k, falling below the median forecast of 1,881k.
  • The US ADP private employment increased by 164k in December, sharply more than the previous month’s revised 101k and the median forecast of 125k. However, the ADP data is not a reliable predictor of today's non-farm payrolls data.
  • The S&P Global US services PMI for December came in at 51.4, showing a modest improvement of 0.1 point over the prior month’s reading and slightly surpassing this month’s forecast of 51.3.
  • The Caixin China Services PMI increased to 52.9 in December, surpassing the prior month’s 51.5 and exceeding the median forecast of 51.6. Notably, the new business, employment, and business activity outlook sub-indices all showed expansion and recorded a rise in December.
  • The final reading of Japan’s Jibun Bank manufacturing PMI for December saw an upward revision of 0.2 points to 47.9, but it remained in contraction, falling below November’s figure of 48.3.

Macro events:  US non-farm payrolls, unemployment rate & average hourly earnings (Dec); Eurozone Harmonized CPI (Dec); UK PMI construction (Dec); Japan consumer confidence (Dec); Japan Jibun Bank Services PMI (Dec, final); Singapore retail sales (Nov).

Earnings: Constellation Brands

In the news:

  • BOJ's Ueda keeps wage hike hopes, quake dampens bet of January policy shift (Reuters)
  • Apple Hit With Second Downgrade This Week on iPhone Worries (Bloomberg)
  • Trader Makes Massive Option Bet Treasuries Will Get Slammed After Jobs Report (Bloomberg)

For all macro, earnings, and dividend events check Saxo’s calendar.

For a global look at markets – go to Inspiration.


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