Asian Stocks Decline Due to Chinese Market Impact, Dollar Experiences Weakness

Asian Stocks Decline Due to Chinese Market Impact, Dollar Experiences Weakness

Asian markets experienced a downturn on Friday, influenced by Chinese shares and with little direction from Wall Street, closed for a holiday. Meanwhile, the dollar remained subdued as expectations grow that U.S. interest rates have reached their peak. Japan’s core consumer inflation and factory activity data had a minimal impact on the yen.

The MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.4%, although it’s still on track for a weekly rise of 0.9% and a significant 7.1% increase in November. This uptick is largely due to growing investor confidence that U.S. interest rates have reached their maximum, with focus shifting to the timing and extent of future rate cuts. Japan’s Nikkei, returning from a holiday, jumped 1.0%, nearing a 33-year peak achieved earlier in the week.

Chinese blue chips dropped 0.3%, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index plummeted 1.3%, erasing previous gains. Hong Kong-listed Chinese developers also fell 0.7%, despite a recent 6.4% surge following new support measures from Beijing.

Shane Oliver, AMP’s chief economist, noted that markets might undergo a period of consolidation after a rapid rebound, possibly affecting the traditional year-end rally. With U.S. markets closed for Thanksgiving and minor uplifts in European shares and the euro from better-than-expected euro zone PMIs, global market dynamics remained mixed.

The European Central Bank’s latest minutes indicated that while inflation in the euro zone is expected to decline, rate hikes remain a possibility. In bond markets, U.S. Treasury yields rose slightly as trading resumed in Asia.

The dollar struggled against other major currencies, nearing a three-month low, while the British pound strengthened, supported by positive business survey results that led to a reassessment of the Bank of England’s rate cut timeline.

Oil prices showed mixed reactions, with Brent crude slightly up and West Texas Intermediate crude down, following concerns about the delayed OPEC+ meeting. Gold prices remained stable at $1,992.75 per ounce, reflecting the cautious sentiment in global markets.