Heading into the mid-point of the Asian session, markets have been relatively quiet with a lack of market-moving macroeconomic data out of either China or Japan, although focus will be on the release of Chinese flash HSBC Manufacturing PMI on Friday and the results of the Japanese election this weekend.
The Nikkei 225 is dominated by risk-averse sentiment, weighed down by electric/utility stocks in reaction to a report from a team of experts who concluded that Japan Atomic Power Corp’s plant is located on a fault line, consequently Kansai Electric Power traded down 6.44%. Earlier in the US session, there were news reports that the Bank of Japan is likely to ease monetary policy further next week on December 20th and possibly boost asset purchase program by JPY 5-10trl, which has supported JGB futures today.
Over in Australia, NAB Business Confidence data came in worse than previous at -9 vs. -1, the reading fell sharply in November to the lowest level since May 2009, alongside the disappointing November Mining Capex -4 versus previous reading 25. Weakness has been observed in AUD, hitting session lows of 1.0461. Meanwhile, the Shanghai composite has seen profit taking after recent gains, trading in negative territory on the day. The Hang Seng has seen recent spike higher, being led by financials, particularly in the insurance sector with AIA group higher on the day by 2.7%.
Looking ahead, the session is expected to remain light with no macro-economic data scheduled to be release on the calendar but one point worth noting is the FOMC will meet this Wednesday.
As of 0250 GMT:
ASX200 (+0.35 %), Nikkei 225 (-0.29%), Shanghai Comp. (-0.18%), Hang Seng (+0.47%), KOSPI (+0.18%)
10 Dec 2012 - 21:52 - - Source: Newswires
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