Global Market Quick Take: Asia – March 7, 2024 Global Market Quick Take: Asia – March 7, 2024 Global Market Quick Take: Asia – March 7, 2024

Global Market Quick Take: Asia – March 7, 2024

Macro 6 minutes to read
APAC Research

Summary:  Markets saw a dovish tilt in Fed Chair Powell’s testimony, which kept stocks firmer and sent the dollar lower. US jobs data also started to show mild weakness. Big tech underperformed the broader market, although Crowdstrike surged post-earnings. JD.com also reported strong earnings and its ADS surged over 16%. Japan’s wage data surprised on the upside, strengthening the yen but Japanese equities gapped higher at the open on improved sentiment. Battle of the top policymakers ahead today, with both Powell and Lagarde on tap.


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

US Equities: Following a moderately dovish testimony from Fed Chair Powell, US stocks rallied, with the S&P 500 gaining 0.5% and the Nasdaq 100 adding 0.7%. CrowdStrike led the performance within the Nasdaq 100, jumping 10.1% on an earnings beat, followed by Dexcom's 9.8% rise. The semiconductor space continued to surge, with Nvidia, Qualcomm, ASML, Marvell Technology, and Intel gaining more than 3% each. New York Community Bancorp rallied 8.1% after the commercial real estate lender raised over $1 billion in equity from investors, including former US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Hong Kong/China Equities: The Hang Seng Index rallied 1.7% to 16,438, and the Hang Seng Tech Index surged by 2.7% to 3,412. China's internet names recovered from the sharp selloff the day before, with Alibaba rising by 3.1%, Meituan by 2.7%, Tencent by 2.4%, and JD.com jumping 7.8% ahead of reporting results. WuXi Biologics surged by 9.1%, marking the largest increase among blue-chip stocks. Following a decline in Apple's stock price the night before, Apple suppliers were under pressure, with AAC Technologies falling by 5.2%. Zijin Mining soared by 6.2% on higher gold prices. In mainland A-shares, the CSI300 fell by 0.4%, dragged down by banks and real estate. New energy stocks rebounded, with the wind power and photovoltaic sectors showing strength.

After the Hong Kong market closed, JD.com reported a 4% Y/Y increase in revenue to RMB 306 billion and a 10% Y/Y growth in adjusted earnings to RMB 8.4 billion, both surpassing expectations. The company announced a plan to buy back up to USD 3 billion, accounting for approximately 8% of its current market capitalization over the next three years. JD.com's ADS surged 16.2%, reaching 9% above the closing level in Hong Kong on Wednesday.

Fixed income: After Chair Powell's testimony to the House Financial Services Committee, the 10-year Treasury yield slid by 5bps to 4.10%, while the 2-year yield remained steady at 4.55% as expectations of the Fed's rate cut trajectory were little changed by the speech.

FX: The dollar weakness accelerated as weak data coincided with a neutral tone from Powell that sent a sense of relief to markets. DXY index touched lows of 103.20, closing just below the 50DMA. The 100 DMA for the DXY index is converging and may move to cross below the 200DMA, sending a bearish picture. Dollar weakness bumped the activity currencies higher, with AUD leading the G10 pack as AUDUSD rallied to highs of 0.6580 and the 100DMA is crossing above 200DMA. USDCAD weakened but 1.35 support held up after BOC was less dovish than expected. Yen gained as Japan’s wage pressures were seen increasing this morning, and USDJPY dropped to 149. GBPUSD stayed resilient, but lacked a push higher and continued to trade around 1.2740 with budget announcement ending up to be non-event.

Commodities: The momentum in Gold extended further as it reached $2,150, a fresh record high amid weak US economic data and with Powell’s remarks being interpreted as mildly dovish. Crude oil extended gains after a US report showed signs of rising fuel demand heading into the summer driving season. US gasoline inventories fell 4.5 million barrels last week, according to EIA data, while crude inventories showed a build of 1.4 million barrels. Meanwhile, demand outlook remains stable as US economy weakness is measured and Fed seems ready to cut rates at some point this year. Weaker USD also helped metals to gains, although China’s NPC policy announcements so far have underwhelmed.

Macro:

  • Fed Chair Powell reiterated the stance on keeping rates higher for longer as he testified in the House. He said that the Fed does not expect it will be appropriate to reduce the policy rate until they have greater confidence in inflation moving sustainably towards 2%. He also repeated it is likely to be appropriate to begin dialling back policy restraint at some point this year, and that the policy rate is likely at the peak for this cycle. Despite a neutral tone, the market got a sense of relief and interpreted it as mildly dovish. Fed Chair speaks again today at the Senate.
  • Bank of Canada announced their rate decision and chose to keep rates unchanged as expected but was less dovish in their official statement and those of Governor Macklem. Macklem noted the significant impact of shelter price inflation on the Bank of Canada's decision-making process and tempered expectations regarding the timeline for achieving the 2% inflation target, suggesting it is unlikely to be met this year. He repeated that the BoC cannot put the timing of rate cuts on a calendar, adding they will not be lowering rates at the pace the BoC raised them.
  • US jobs data showed signs of mild weakness. JOLTS in January fell to 8.863mln from 8.889mln, light of the forecasted 8.9mln. Quits rate slowed to 2.1% from 2.2%, which had been as high as 3% in 2022, showing signs of easing wage pressures. ADP still held up well, coming in at 140k for February from 111k in January and below the 150k expected, but it is a less reliable indicator. Focus turns to NFP jobs data due on Friday.
  • UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s budget announcement came with little surprises. Some personal tax cuts were announced, but income tax was not altered. The cost will be partially offset by the abolition of the “non-dom” tax regime and other tax increases. Economic growth for 2024 was forecast at 0.8 per cent. From a policy perspective, most of the measures were as expected and unlikely to be inflationary and may not affect the path of Bank of England.
  • In a press conference at the NPC, Wu Qing, the new Chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), stated that one must respect the market's functioning and refrain from intervention under normal circumstances. However, regulators must take decisive action when the market significantly deviates from its fundamentals, exhibiting irrational and intense fluctuations that cause panic. He pledges to regulate majority shareholders’ divestment and encourage listed companies to pay dividends.
  • Governor Pan Gongsheng said the People’s Bank of China has sufficient monetary tools to ensure stable growth in credits.
  • The Director of the National Development and Reform Commission stated during an NPC press conference that China's exports grew by 10% Y/Y in the first two months of the year. Additionally, electricity generation and usage increased by 11.7% and 9.7%, respectively. China is promoting the replacement of old consumer goods such as automobiles, home appliances, and home furnishings, as well as service consumption.
  • Japan’s wage growth accelerated in January at the fast pace since June last year, boosting expectations of a BOJ exit as early as March or April. Nominal cash earnings grew 2.0% YoY in January from vs. 1.2% expected and 0.8% in December. Real wages fell 0.6% YoY, a smaller drop than expected. Wage negotiations are likely ongoing now and the initial results should be available next week.

Macro events: ECB Announcement, China Trade Balance (Feb)

Earnings: Broadcom, Costco, Marvell Technology, Kroger, MongoDB, Samsara, Burlington Stores, DocuSign, Bilibili, Techtronic

In the news:

  • Japan sees growing momentum towards March end to negative rates (Reuters)
  • China central banker sees full toolbox as planners vow to hit GDP goal (Nikkei Asia)
  • China’s long-awaited reform for 300 million migrants could open a wellspring of demand (SCMP)
  • EU moves to slap retroactive tariffs on electric vehicles from China (SCMP)
  • DHL Owner Deutsche Post Expects Limited Earnings Growth This Year (WSJ)
  • US Urges Allies to Squeeze China Further on Chip Technology (Bloomberg)

 

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