Ongoing Market Commentary: Asia stocks trading in the green

written on April 29, 2022

The war in Ukraine has tended to increase uncertainty regarding inflation and growth prospects.  When and with what consequences this war will end is pure speculation, but capital markets are expected to build a certain immunity to the headline risks in the coming weeks.  The medium- to long-term consequences, on the other hand, could be significant.  It is possible that we are at the beginning of a new bloc formation or a new Cold War.  This would put a significant damper on globalisation and further fuel higher structural inflation. 

US stocks rebounded on Thursday with the Nasdaq posting its best daily performance in over a month. The index rallied by 3.1%, followed by the S&P 500’s 2.5% advance and the Dow’s 1.9% gain. European markets also rose for the second day in a row. 

Summary

  • Asia stocks are trading in the green this morning but are bracing for their worst monthly loss in two years. The Hang Seng jumped by 2% after falling sharply in morning trading, mainly boosted by tech stocks, and the Shanghai Composite rose modestly, on the latest pledge by China’s cabinet to support the slowing economy and Covid outbreaks. Shares in Australia also gained while markets in Japan were closed for a holiday. 
  • European futures are pointing to a positive start for stocks while in the US stocks are expected to fall after disappointments from both Amazon and Apple. 
  • Oil futures were stable this morning after reports yesterday that Germany is no longer opposed to an embargo on Russian oil, which could further tighten supplies in the already stressed global crude market. 
  • The American economy shrank 1.4% in Q1 2022, the first contraction since a Covid-related decline in mid-2020, mostly due to a record trade deficit, softer inventory growth, and a drop in government spending.  Meanwhile, personal consumption and nonresidential and residential fixed investment remained strong. 
  • Germany’s consumer price inflation rate is expected to climb to 7.4% in April from 7.3% in March, the highest since 1981 and slightly above market expectations of 7.2%, a preliminary estimate showed.  
  • Apple shares fell more than 3% in extending hours on Thursday as Tim Cook warned of a possible $8 billion hit from supply constraints brought about by Covid-related disruptions and the industry-wide silicon shortage. 
  • Amazon shares also fell after hours as the company reported its first quarterly loss since 2015 weighed down by its’ stake in EV startup Rivian whilst the CFO also warns inflation is here to stay. 
  • Elon Musk sold around $4 billion worth of Tesla shares in a bid to raise funds for his Twitter deal but says the move is a one-off and there are no further plans to sell more shares. 

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Life’s full of mysteries. Your money shouldn’t be one of them.