ASIA-PAC EQUITY WRAP: Asian stocks were mostly but with price action cautious heading closer to the debt limit deadline

Analysis details (06:03)

Asia-Pac stocks were mostly positive but with price action rangebound amid cautiousness as the debt limit deadline draws closer and following last week’s more balanced comments from Fed Chair Powell. ASX 200 (-0.4%) was subdued amid weakness in financials although losses were contained amid the improving trade environment between Australia and its largest trading partner as evidenced by last month’s 89% rise in coal exports to China. Nikkei 225 (+0.4%) was indecisive as the momentum from its recent rally to 33-year highs somewhat waned and with the mood also clouded by the surprise contraction in Machinery Orders. Hang Seng (+1.2%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.1%) traded higher albeit with the mainland choppy after the mixed commentary from the G7 which stated that there is no legal basis for China’s expansive maritime claims in the South China Sea and that they oppose China’s militarisation activities in the region, although US President Biden is expecting relations with China to thaw soon. Furthermore, there were also frictions after China’s cyberspace regulator banned operators of critical information infrastructure in China from purchasing Micron Technology’s products following its review, while the PBoC provided no surprises and kept its benchmark lending rates unchanged with the 1-year LPR and 5-year LPR maintained at 3.65% and 4.30%, respectively.

22 May 2023 - 06:01- Research Sheet- Source: Newsquawk

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