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Asian Indices Mixed on Wednesday

Plus500 | Wednesday 27 July 2022

Another chapter in the ongoing struggle of global markets to surf the waves of volatility and market uncertainty is being written today. Ahead of the Federal Reserve’s probable second consecutive 75 basis point interest rate hike, Wednesday’s trading on key Asian Indices presented a mixed bag to market watchers. Let’s take a closer look:

Asian Market Indices

Mixed Fortunes in Asia

Trading outcomes across East Asia were not of one piece today. While Tokyo’s Nikkei (Japan 225) rose 0.2% by the ring of the closing bell, the Hang Seng Index (Hong Kong 50) has dropped 1.4% as of the time of writing. According to analysts, today’s shifting fortunes on the trading floors of Asia may be attributed to concerns emanating from the other side of the Pacific.

The Federal Open Market Committee’s latest two-day summit is expected to conclude this afternoon with the announcement of another significant jump in American interest rates. With record inflation still squeezing the pockets of the average U.S. citizen, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell seems determined to continue on the American central bank’s tightening spiral.

However, investors from New York to Tokyo may be worried that such a swift shift in monetary policy may raise the likelihood that the American economy could enter a recession, which may then spread around the world.

Some market analysts have even posited that such a rapid shift to the conservative side of the monetary policy spectrum may not even be necessary at this point. According to these voices, the drop in the prices of Commodities from this spring’s peaks may presage a drop in consumer prices even without interest rates increasing. Since its March peak, the price of Oil (CL) has come down by just under 23%, while Natural Gas (NG) has declined by almost 6% since early June. (Source:Market Watch)

Chinese Regulatory Woes

While Big Tech earnings and their effect on major Indices like the S&P 500 (USA 500) and Nasdaq (US-TECH 100) have captured many of the financial headlines in the U.S. recently, the Chinese tech sector is facing challenges as well.

In the world’s most populous nation, regulations instituted by the Communist Party have led to a shrinking of revenues for the gaming industry for the first time in over a decade. A moratorium on the production of new games, restrictions on underage players, and increased content censorship are all leaving their mark on the bottom lines of companies like Tencent. The number of gamers in China, while still the world’s largest video game market, declined in June for the first time, while revenues for the industry as a whole are down almost 2% year-over-year for the first half of 2022.

Shares of Tencent (0700.HK) have dropped by 30% so far this year, and it’s as yet unknown how China’s domestic gaming sector will grapple with increasing regulations. A large number of gaming firms have been forced out of business in recent years, and it seems that unpredictability with regard to the shifting regulatory landscape has become a foremost concern for executives in China. (Source:Market Watch)

As individual firms and Indices across Asia in general face these aforementioned headwinds, it seems that interesting times are ahead for the markets. 

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