Shares in Asia-Pacific largely slipped in Monday trade, with stocks in Hong Kong leading losses. European stocks also are expected to open flat to lower.
Hong Kong’s broader Hang Seng index dropped 2.39%. Hong Kong-listed shares of Alibaba dropped 4.47% following a Financial Times report that Beijing wants to break up Ant Group’s Alipay and force the creation of a separate loans app. Other Chinese tech stocks including Tencent and Meituan also declined.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 edged 0.09% lower while in South Korea, The KOSPI dipped 0.36%. The Singapore’s Straits Times index shed by 0.92%, and the S&P BSE Sensex in India slipped 0.40%.
The Shanghai composite and the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia up fractionally, hovered above the flatline.
European markets set for tepid start to the new trading week, with investors continuing to weigh up the European Central Bank’s latest policy decision and inflation data. Wall Street ended lower last Friday as investor sentiment turned negative following news of a hike in the U.S. PPI data.
Oil prices were a shade firmer on Monday as investors tracked the slow restoration of supplies in the Gulf of Mexico and the outlook for demand and inventories in the fourth quarter.
Later today, OPEC is scheduled to release its latest monthly assessment, while the IEA oil market report will be released tomorrow.
The Brent now traded at $73.42 per barrel, while U.S. crude futures traded at $70.12 per barrel.
On Friday last week, the Brent ends at $72.92 a barrel, and the WTI at $69.72 per barrel.
The dollar began a busy data week on a firm footing, with immediate focus turning to U.S. inflation figures. The dollar index inched higher, was at 92.729, off the recent low of 91.941.
The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes eased to 1.333%.
Gold prices were subdued on Monday as the dollar held firm, while cautious investors awaited readings on U.S. CPI due this week that could be crucial to Federal Reserve's decision on when to exit its super-supportive policy.
Spot gold was flat at $1,793.50 per ounce, while the U.S. gold futures rose slightly to $1,794.50.
Silver was flat at $23.77. Platinum eased 0.50% to $951.70 per ounce and touched its lowest level since November 2020. Palladium hit its lowest level since August 2020 but recovered lost ground to trade at $2,125.50.
Asian shares made a guarded start on Monday, with sellers broadly outpacing gainers as risk of a slower economic recovery from the pandemic amid elevated inflation saps sentiment.
European stocks also are expected to open flat to lower, with investors continuing to weigh up the ECB’s latest policy decision and inflation data.
Trade tension is in the spotlight again after the Biden administration was said to be weighing a new probe into Chinese subsidies. Investors are also monitoring Beijing’s regulatory crackdown on private industries and the travails of indebted developer China Evergrande Group. China will release a swath of data this week, including retail sales, property prices, and industrial production.
Also highlighting are readings on U.S. CPI on Tuesday, which is expected to see core inflation ease a touch to 4.2%, while retail sales on Thursday could show another decline as the spread of the Delta variant spooks shoppers. Data on Friday showed U.S. PPI increased solidly in August, leading to the biggest annual gain in nearly 11 years.
Important Levels to Watch for Today:
- Resistance line of 110.301 and 110.563.
- Support line of 109.456 and 109.195.
The dollar gains against the yen, last buying at 109.070 yen having spent an entire month trapped in a tiny range of 109.40-100.46.
The greenback gaining ground as pullback in U.S. yields after Friday's rally and weakness in Asian stocks following decline in global equities last week dampened risk sentiment.
Technical-wise, the pair may move towards the first resistance of the 110.301 level and potentially test the second resistance of 110.563. In general, we will continue to suggest the bullish trend for the upcoming period unless breaking 109.456.
Market's focus is Tuesday's U.S. CPI data as higher readings will reinforce market expectation of Fed's tapering at next week FOMC meeting.