Asian Stocks Drop as China Growth Slows, BOJ Looms: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) — Asian stocks and US equity futures edged lower as traders digested data that showed China’s economy growing on the second slowest pace for the reason that Nineteen Seventies.

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An Asian equity benchmark dipped for the second day, with the Hang Seng Index down greater than 1%. Contracts for the S&P 500 also fell, with US markets shut Monday. A gauge of world equities traded flat in an indication the rally that’s pushed it to one of the best begin to a yr since 1988 has stalled.

Stocks trading in Hong Kong and mainland China were mostly within the red after China said its economic growth last yr slowed as Covid restrictions hammered activity. But better-than-forecast fourth quarter and December data add to optimism it might be primed for a recovery.

Amongst those bullish on the recovery are Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and UBS Group AG because the resumption of activity in China guarantees to unleash over $836 billion of excess savings, and should help ease fears of a worldwide downturn as other central banks proceed to tighten policy. A plan by Chinese financial regulators and the nation’s biggest bad-debt management corporations to supply support to high-quality developers may shore up positive sentiment as well.

Shares rose in Japan, while the yen barely fell against the dollar as traders weighed the prospects of a possible change in policy by the Bank of Japan on Wednesday. The nation’s 10-year yield climbed above the central bank’s ceiling for a 3rd day as traders added to wagers that it can adjust its yield-curve control policy.

“We’ve seen some good moves for Asian stocks this yr, particularly China, and with the BOJ meeting looming and its potential to be an enormous risk event, it’s logical to see some risk be taken off of the table,” said Matthew Simpson, an analyst at City Index. “So today we’re seeing a slight risk-off tone and natural pullbacks, but to not the degree it causes major concern.”

Globally, the dollar was little modified while Treasury yields climbed across the tenors.

“A reversal of a policy correction trade is more likely to occur ahead of the outcomes of the BOJ decision meeting announcement tomorrow,” said Hideyuki Ishiguro, senior strategist at Nomura Asset Management. “There was yen-buying and a selling of the Nikkei against the backdrop of policy revisions, but this morning the yen’s appreciation will take a breather, and there could possibly be a yen selling and a buying of Nikkei futures.”

Activist investor Ryan Cohen took a stake in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and is advocating that the Chinese e-commerce company increase repurchases of its own shares. Some analysts say the move may lift foreign interest within the stock.

Several Federal Reserve officials will likely be speaking this week, providing more clues on their policy priorities. The World Economic Forum’s annual meeting kicks off in Davos, Switzerland, with speakers including European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde and the International Monetary Fund’s Kristalina Georgieva.

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BlackRock Inc. expects central banks to maintain raising rates this yr to make sure inflation sticks to its downward path. That may defy traders who expect policy makers to ease off, in keeping with Vice Chairman Philipp Hildebrand.

Earnings reports from Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley due Tuesday will provide guidance in regards to the health of the worldwide economy.

UBS Wealth Management expects “quite a little bit of downside here on the earnings” within the US, in keeping with Hartmut Issel, head of Asia Pacific equities. The US is a market that hasn’t priced in an earnings recession, he said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. “Others have, so we’re actually underweight the US at once.”

Bitcoin dipped, but held above $21,000 in an indication of healthy risk appetite. Elsewhere, oil declined as investors waited for a market outlook from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries which will yield clues about supply and demand in 2023. Gold slid.

Key events this week:

  • Earnings to incorporate: Charles Schwab, Discover Financial, Goldman Sachs, Interactive Brokers, Investor AB, Morgan Stanley, Netflix, Procter & Gamble, Prologis, State Street

  • US Empire State manufacturing survey, Tuesday

  • Fed’s John Williams to talk, Tuesday

  • Eurozone CPI, Wednesday

  • US retail sales, PPI, industrial production, business inventories, MBA mortgage applications, cross-border investment, Wednesday

  • Bank of Japan rate decision, Wednesday

  • Federal Reserve releases Beige Book, Wednesday

  • Fed speakers include Raphael Bostic, Lorie Logan and Patrick Harker, Wednesday

  • US housing starts, initial jobless claims, Philadelphia Fed index, Thursday

  • ECB account of its December policy meeting and President Christine Lagarde on a panel in Davos, Thursday

  • Fed speakers include Susan Collins and John Williams, Thursday

  • Japan CPI, Friday

  • China loan prime rates, Friday

  • US existing home sales, Friday

  • IMF’s Kristalina Georgieva and ECB’s Lagarde speak in Davos, Friday

Among the foremost moves in markets:


  • S&P 500 futures fell 0.3% as of 1:51 p.m. Tokyo time. The S&P 500 rose 0.4% on Friday

  • Nasdaq 100 futures fell 0.5%

  • Japan’s Topix index rose 0.8%

  • South Korea’s Kospi index fell 0.7%

  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 1%

  • China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.2%

  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.1%


  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little modified

  • The euro was little modified at $1.0825

  • The Japanese yen fell 0.1% to 128.72 per dollar

  • The offshore yuan fell 0.4% to six.7697 per dollar


  • Bitcoin fell was little modified at $21,152.67

  • Ether fell 0.8% $1,566.82


  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries advanced three basis point to three.53%

  • Japan’s 10-year yield declined nearly two basis points to 0.508%

  • Australia’s 10-year yield advanced one basis point to three.61%


  • West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.7% to $79.32 a barrel

  • Spot gold fell 0.2% to $1,911.60 an oz

This story was produced with the help of Bloomberg Automation.

–With assistance from Richard Henderson.

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