It’s been a distinctly mixed start to the week for equity markets across Asia with economic data out of China once again being front of mind for many. This time it was industrial production and retail sales numbers that were in play and with both serving up a measure of disappointment, once again the debate appears to be focused on when Beijing will offer up some additional stimulus measures – and what will these look like? This has been sufficient to buoy the Shanghai Composite, but the Hong Kong index is taking a rather more subjective view of affairs, rounding out the day well into negative territory. In Japan, the Nikkei managed to post gains supported by further Yen weakness.
Wall Street futures are pointing towards a negative start to the week and it’s not just because of the data we’ve seen from China – there’s mounting concern that the Federal Reserve will send a strong signal out regarding the timing of interest rate hikes when the FOMC meet later this week and understandably that’s weighing on sentiment too. US production data is due just before the opening bell too and could provide some direction but bigger issues do appear to be in play. For now we’re calling the DOW down 37 at 16951 and the S&P down 5 at 1981.