Shares in Asia were mostly on the high side this Tuesday with very little news to drive the trading. The benchmark of Japan was a little lower, but Hang Seng Index of Hong Kong rose as the finance minister of China expressed some confidence on the ability of the government to handle their rising debt levels.
Tokyo Nikkei 225 Index was 0.2% lower to about 19345.49, but most of the other indexes showed a gain. Hang Seng Index showed 0.3 percent gain and reached about 23673.80. The Shanghai Composite Index stayed constant at 3234.76. S&P ASX 200 of Australia climbed to 5755.10 (about 0.2 percent). Kospi of South Korea was also up by 0.5% to 2091.14. Southeast Asia and Taiwan shares were also high.
Stocks indexes in US finished lower on Monday as well. This was the second time in the past three trading days with losses in insurance companies, investment firms, and banks. The S&P 500 Index also lost about 0.3% coming to 2375.31. Dow Jones Industrial average was 20954.34, down by 0.2 percent. Even NASDAQ Composite Index was down by 0.4 percent to 5849.17. Many analysts have now become cautious after the recent months’ rapid gains.
As there is no major financial news to drive trading, all the investors are looking towards the latest development on the political front by watching US President Donald Trump and US Federal Reserve. The Trump Administration had released a revised border restriction plan for travelers from Muslim countries overnight.
According to Chris Weston of IG, the new risk on risk off is TOTO or Trump on Trump off. The revised travel ban by Trump from major Muslim countries would have a very limited impact in the Asian region since the directly affected countries are not in this region. Although this story does not really affect the markets, it shows the news focus lack in this session.
Xiao Jie, China’s financial minister, told the reporters that the risks from financing were easily manageable. The debt risks of the government of China are within their control. The official Xinhua News Agency reiterated what Xiao said in the annual session sidelines of the national legislature. He added that the net debt amounted to about 3.96 trillion dollars or 27.33 trillion yuan totally, which is about 36.7% of the GDP of the country.
The US crude benchmark also lost 6 cents in electronic trading at NY Mercantile Exchange. It’s now $53.14/barrel and on Monday it gave up 13 cents totaling to $53.2/barrel. The benchmark for international oils Brent crude also lost 9 cents to $55.92/barrel in London.
The euro rose from $1.0582 to $1.0588 and the dollar was unchanged at 113.98 yen.