Asia stocks are subdued following an uninspiring tone on Wall St where S&P 500 and DJIA finished negative as Trump tariff overhang weighed heavily on industrials, while the Nasdaq outperformed to post a 7th consecutive gain and fresh record high amid tech resilience. Furthermore, trade across the Asia-Pac region was quiet with stocks lacking any significant drivers for price action. As such, ASX 200 (-0.7%) and Nikkei 225 (-0.2%) are subdued with mining and commodity-related stocks dragging on Australia, while the largest weighted financials sector is also downbeat as the royal commission begins hearings on mortgage fraud. Elsewhere, Hang Seng (-0.2%) and Shanghai Comp. (-0.2%) are choppy with trade indecisive as the PBoC kept its liquidity efforts tepid. In terms of sectors, Hang Seng Telecom Index underperforms following some downward broker moves, while banking names benefit from proposals to consolidate regulatory agencies and after ‘Big 4’ AgBank reported preliminary earnings as well as a private placement to raise as much as USD 15.8bln.
In FX markets, the greenback is little changed overnight with the DXY below 90.00 as ongoing trade war concerns restrict price action, while EUR/USD and GBP/USD are also flat with the latter stuck around the 1.3900 level. Elsewhere, AUD is range-bound amid mixed data releases and NZD/USD outperforms after reclaiming the 0.7300 handle, while JPY trades mixed although the safe-haven has held on to most of the gains seen following the resurfacing of the government land-sale scandal.
Finally, 10yr JGBs are flat amid an indecisive tone across riskier assets and with participants side-lined ahead of today’s 5yr auction.