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After yesterday’s mixed session on Wall Street, sentiment in the Asian session was mostly weak. China’s Hang Seng and Korea’s KOSPI lost more than 1.5%. The Nikkei posted a 0.3% decline, although the Topix managed to close the session 0.2% higher.

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Friday News
  • After yesterday’s mixed session on Wall Street, sentiment in the Asian session was mostly weak. China’s Hang Seng and Korea’s KOSPI lost more than 1.5%. The Nikkei posted a 0.3% decline, although the Topix managed to close the session 0.2% higher.
  • China’s new home prices fell -1.6% y/y vs. a -0.6% decline previously. Used house prices fell 0.62% y/y vs. 0.68% previously. China eases tourist visa restrictions to boost economy
  • Also losing ground on the wave of declines in China was Australia’s ASX 200, which posted a 0.5% decline According to an RTRS survey, Australia’s central bank will cut rates to 3.85%, by the end of 2024. All respondents expect the cash rate to remain at 4.35%, at the March 19 meeting
  • The Japanese yen is weakening slightly against the U.S. dollar. Japan’s cabinet secretary Hayashi indicated that the interpretation of the economic situation depends on the BoJ’s decision, indicating broader caution in commenting on the change in monetary policy by the political class
  • Finance Minister Suzuki stressed that deflation is no longer Japan’s problem, and that broader pressure from higher wages is a foregone conclusion. However, he indicated that the final decision of possible policy changes depends solely on the BoJ’s interpretation
  • Suzuki also indicated that the government intends to use all tools to ensure that the wave of wage increases in Japan continues, which may be a ‘hawkish’ signal for BoJ. According to Kyodo, Japanese unions win an over 5% wage hike and investors want to know what eventually will BoJ do with its $475 billion ETFs portfolio
  • Agricultural commodity futures mostly gain. Oil is trading marginally higher, with NATGAS losing less than 0.7% after rising yesterday
  • Silver and palladium futures are trading up more than 1%. Gold is gaining slightly and trying to recover from yesterday’s declines
  • Contracts for European indexes opened up after large rollovers. The DAX rose to nearly 18,200 points after the rollover and is now retreating from this level slightly
  • Cryptocurrencies are mostly losing, with Bitcoin trading down more than 4% near $68,000 level. Filecoin, Chainlink and Graph are losing more than 7%.
  • The U.S. Navy reported 9 anti-ship missiles and two drones destroyed, near Yemen
  • Japanese auto giant Nissan intends to partner with Korea’s SK Hynix to start producing electric cars in the United States, according to information revealed by Yomiuri
  • China’s aluminum production is expected to increase in 2024. Russian company Rusal said it plans to increase imports as part of deepening economic relations between the two countries

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