Asian shares recover but concerns over China may resume strict COVID curbs linger

Tue Nov 22 2022
Mark Cooper (3059 articles)
Asian shares recover but concerns over China may resume strict COVID curbs linger

Asian stock markets mostly recouped early losses on Tuesday, supported by improved sentiment for China shares, but concerns lingered that Beijing may reimpose strict COVID curbs that could cause supply chain disruptions.

The dollar pulled back from strong overnight gains while oil took a pause from Monday’s retreat.

European stock futures indicated a sluggish open with Eurostoxx 50 futures up 0.15%, German DAX futures up 0.09% and FTSE futures up 0.30%

The broad Asia-Pacific index ex-Japan (.MIAPJ0000PUS) recovered earlier losses to inch 0.07% higher in the afternoon.

The biggest driver for the recovery was China, with its benchmark up 0.43%. Losses on Hong Kong’s benchmark index (.HSI) narrowed to 0.7%.

Support came from the property sub-sector, as fresh government moves dished out late Monday to aid the struggling industry helped buoyant sentiment.

The Chinese capital warned on Monday it was facing its most severe test of the pandemic, fuelling investor concerns that China may be forced to resume strict mobility curbs and issue stay at home orders across cities.

Surging cases in manufacturing cities may cause supply chain disruptions, said Redmond Wong, market strategist for Greater China at Saxo Markets in Hong Kong.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei average (.N225) rose 0.69%, as the yen’s weakness against the dollar raised prospects for domestic manufacturers.

Australian shares (.AXJO) rose 0.59%, supported by strength in miners and banks.

The dollar pared some of its strong overnight gains on Tuesday after investors flocked to the safe-haven currency on nerves over China’s COVID flare ups, but analysts at the National Australia Bank questioned whether demand for the greenback was sustainable.

“Evidence U.S. inflation has peaked and can fall significantly in 2023, together with China and Europe developments, convince us a USD depreciation cycle is now in train,” they said in a note on Tuesday.

U.S. Treasury yields across most maturities rose on Tuesday amid expectations of further Federal Reserve interest rate hikes, as the market awaits latest Fed minutes due to be released on Wednesday to provide greater clarity.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield rose five basis points.

Oil prices rose on Tuesday, a day after Saudi Arabia denied a media report that it was discussing an increase in oil supply with OPEC and its allies.

U.S. crude extended gains from early trades to rise 0.36% to $80.33 per barrel and Brent was at $87.88, up 0.49%.

Spot gold up 0.3% to trade at $1,742.91 an ounce.

Mark Cooper

Mark Cooper

Mark Cooper is Political / Stock Market Correspondent. He has been covering Global Stock Markets for more than 6 years.