Asian markets are bracing for a volatile start to the week as concerns over the recent equity selloff, tightening financial conditions, and upcoming economic data from China weigh on investor sentiment. Despite the G20 summit, which ended without any major breakthroughs in the ongoing trade war between the US and China, market experts anticipate that political tensions will continue to play a significant role in trading activities.
Last week, technology giant Apple experienced a significant setback as its stock took a hit after Beijing banned government employees from using iPhones at work. This move resulted in a staggering $180 billion loss in market capitalization for the company, highlighting the vulnerability of international businesses to geopolitical strains.
Global markets also witnessed significant declines last week, with the Nasdaq, S&P 500, MSCI World, and MSCI Asia ex-Japan Index all registering declines of over 1%. This decline reflects the fragile sentiment prevailing in the market, further fueling concerns among investors.
Financial conditions are also tightening across China, emerging markets, and globally. Real-time indexes by Goldman Sachs indicate that conditions are the tightest they have been since November last year. These conditions, coupled with the dollar reaching a six-month high, are affecting Asian currencies, leaving traders on high alert for potential interventions to stabilize fluctuating currency values.
Multiple economic indicators set to be released this week will play a crucial role in shaping market sentiment. Key indicators impacting currencies in the region include Indian trade and inflation, Australian unemployment rates, Indonesia retail sales, and Japanese industrial production and machinery orders. However, the focus will be largely on China, with major indicators such as money supply, loan growth, retail sales, industrial production, and house prices expected to be released. These indicators will provide insights into the state of the Chinese economy and authorities’ actions to stimulate growth.
Moreover, China’s producer and consumer price data released on Saturday indicates a continued downward pressure on prices, raising concerns about the country’s economic stability. The scale of measures required to achieve China’s GDP growth target of 5% by the end of the week will determine the government’s response to these challenges.
While policymakers aim to boost economic growth, the depreciating value of the yuan poses a considerable challenge. Further policy easing may increase downward pressure on the currency, potentially leading to weaker asset markets and capital flight.
Several key developments to watch out for on Monday include Malaysia’s industrial production figures for July, Japan’s money supply data for August, and the US 3-year note auction. These developments will provide further insight into the global economic landscape and impact market sentiment in the coming days.