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Asian stocks consolidate losses amid cautious optimism

  • MSCI Asia-Pacific Index (ex-Japan) mildly positive at the end of the worst week since May 2019.
  • WHO term coronavirus as a global health emergency but turned down banning tourism/trade.
  • Chinese PMIs fail to disappoint, officials from Beijing stay confident of winning the war against the epidemic.

Stocks in Asia seem to take a break from the turbulent times as recent headlines from China, as well as official PMIs, fail to support the risk-off. That said, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) cautious terming of the coronavirus as an international emergency also helps the risk reset.

As a result, MSCI’s index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan managed to register 0.3% gains to 663 while still being on the road to the worst week since May 2019. Japan’s NIKKEI, on the other hand, also mark more than 1.0% gains to 23,215 during early Friday.

Hong Kong’s HANG SENG and Australia’s ASX 200 seem to provide China’s proxy while marking close to 0.20% gains. The same is the case with India’s BSE SENSEX that awaits government budget, up for publishing on Saturday.

The US 10-year treasury yields recover from the 16-week low, flashed Thursday, to 1.585%, while S&P 500 Futures also rise 0.10% to 3,293. It’s worth mentioning that Wall Street managed to post mild gains the previous day, mainly thanks to the day-end upbeat results from giants.

Investors will now keep eyes on the economic calendar having Indian GDP and Japanese housing market data for the immediate direction. Following that, Eurozone GDP, the US Chicago PMI and Michigan Consumer Sentiment will be closely observed.

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