World Asian markets slip again as US data fails to temper recovery worries
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Asian markets sank again Wednesday, tracking another sell-off on Wall Street, as figures indicating US consumer inflation slowed last month were unable to overcome concerns about the impact of the Delta variant on the global recovery outlook.
After a bright start to the month, equities around the world have gone into reverse in recent sessions as confidence is shaken by the virus with a number of countries seeing a worrying jump in new cases that have forced some, including China, to reimpose tough containment measures.
Asian markets mostly up as weak US data soothes taper worries
Asian markets mostly rose Monday after a big miss on US jobs creation last month fuelled optimism that the Federal Reserve will hold fire on tapering its massive financial support programme, while Tokyo extended last week's rally on hopes for more economic stimulus. - Tokyo extends rally - Asia built on last week's broadly positive performance. Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Seoul and Taipei all rose, though Sydney, Wellington and Jakarta dipped.
Investors are also having to grapple with a range of other issues including Federal Reserve plans to taper monetary policy, China's regulatory crackdown on private enterprises and a possible default by Chinese property giant Evergrande, which is teetering under debts of more than $300 billion.
Data Tuesday showing US consumer prices rose last month at a slower pace than expected soothed concerns that inflation could force the Fed to begin winding down its market-supporting policies earlier than thought.
The reading had taken on particular importance after producer prices -- what firms pay at the factory gate -- hit a record high in August owing to rising demand and tighter supplies.
The figures showed a slight dip, appearing to back up Fed officials' insistence that the sharp rises were temporary because of the reopening and short-term supply issues.
Hong Kong rallies as Asian markets bounce back from sell-off
Asian markets bounced back Friday from the previous day's losses, though investors were treading cautiously as they try to gauge the impact of the Delta variant on the global outlook. Still, while Asia was on course to end the week with a flourish, economies and stock markets remain hostage to the ravages of the Delta Covid variant, which continues to send infection rates spiking and forcing some governments to impose strict containment measures. And analysts warned that the recovery would take time.
But US investors shrugged at the news and sent all three main indexes into the red.
Analysts pointed out that the easing came on the back of concerns about the spread of the Delta variant, which is sending infection rates surging. That led to a sharp drop in airline fares, while used car sales -- a major cause of recent inflation spikes -- also fell.
However, National Australia Bank's Rodrigo Catril said: "There are still many factors suggesting inflation is unlikely to ease significantly. Inflation remains strong for food, housing and other goods.
"The decline in airline fares and hotel room rates are likely to reverse as the Delta wave fades."
- Casinos plunge -
While noting that the print would ease pressure on the Fed to tighten policy, he added that "debate on higher US inflation has not gone away and next year the big focus will be to what extent the expected rise in wages will deliver longer-lasting upward pressure on prices".
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A taper in November or December still looked likely, he said.
And Dana D'Auria, of Envestnet Inc, told Bloomberg Television: "It is hard to argue at this point that (inflation) remains entirely transitory.
"You couple that with the fact that there are still all these supply shocks that we are still working through. I think the markets are going to have to feel the pain."
Asian markets were under pressure in the morning session.
Video: Inflation is the 'stickier' issue for markets and the Fed, says ANZ economist (CNBC)
Hong Kong was among the losers, with Macau casino operators collapsing as they became the latest to fall into China's regulatory crosshairs.
On Wednesday, the Macau government unveiled plans to tighten control over the industry, with recommendations including reviewing the number of concessions it issues, putting representatives on the boards of operators and criminalising underground banking in the industry.
Sands Macau and Wynn Macau plunged about 25 percent, Galaxy Entertainment was off 15 percent and MGM China dropped 20 percent.
Most Asian markets drop as record US inflation fans taper talk
Asian markets mostly fell on Monday following another retreat on Wall Street as a surge in US inflation to a record high ramped up concerns the Federal Reserve will be forced to tighten monetary policy sooner than later. Reports that President Joe Biden was considering a fresh trade probe into China added to the downbeat mood and nullified the optimism sparked by news that he had held talks on Friday with Xi Jinping in a bid to smooth relations between the superpowers. After driving a healthy run-up in Asia so far this month, investor sentiment was once again roiled by data on Friday showing US factory gate inflation had soared in August to an all-time high of 8.
The news comes as the firms were already struggling owing to the impact of the coronavirus on tourism to the city, which usually rakes in more money in a single week than Las Vegas makes in a month.
Tokyo, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Wellington, Taipei and Jakarta all fell, though Seoul and Manila managed gains.
Meanwhile, observers said the selling in September was not much of a surprise.
"September is the only month in the calendar year with historically negative returns if you look back 50 years or more," said markets strategist Louis Navellier.
"That's not a guarantee, as some Septembers have been great, but the long-term trend suggests that we should be on the lookout for sell-offs in Septembers."
- Key figures around 0250 GMT -
Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.5 percent at 30,510.05 (break)
Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: DOWN 0.7 percent at 25,322.49
Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.1 percent at 3,659.85
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 109.63 yen from 109.66 yen at 2110 GMT
Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1805 from $1.1802
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3798 from $1.3806
Euro/pound: UP at 85.56 pence from 85.45 pence
West Texas Intermediate: UP 0.5 percent at $70.82 per barrel
Brent North Sea crude: UP 0.5 percent at $73.95 per barrel
New York - Dow: DOWN 0.8 percent at 34,577.57 (close)
London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.5 percent at 7,034.06 (close)
China’s Evergrande says will make a scheduled payment .
Indebted developer, however, has not said whether it will meet two other interest payments, including one on Thursday.Hengda Real Estate Group said in a statement on Wednesday it would make the coupon payment on its Shenzhen-traded 5.8 percent September 2025 bond on time on September 23.