Feb 9, 2024: As European traders seek guidance from Asian markets, they are met with divergent trends. While Hong Kong struggles, weighed down by property shares, Japan celebrates a significant milestone with the Nikkei reaching a new 34-year peak.
In Hong Kong, a subindex of mainland property shares plummeted more than 3%, contributing to a lackluster performance as the market heads into the Lunar New Year break. On the other hand, mainland Chinese stocks ended positively, boosted by the appointment of a new head of the securities watchdog known for decisive action.
Japan’s Nikkei surged, buoyed by dovish signals from the central bank ahead of a long weekend. Bank of Japan Governor Kazuo Ueda reiterated the commitment to maintain accommodative monetary conditions, even after exiting negative short-term rates.
Meanwhile, the European Central Bank’s stance on rate cuts faces scrutiny with the release of final German inflation data for January. However, earnings reports are likely to dominate market sentiment in Europe. French luxury brands, including Hermes and L’Oreal, are among the companies set to announce results.
The STOXX 600 and Britain’s FTSE are both poised for potential direction shifts, with modest gains and losses recorded this week and uncertainty prevailing.
Key events for Friday include:
Release of Germany’s CPI and HICP Final for January
Industrial output data from Italy for December and industrial production figures from Sweden for December
Earnings reports from Hermes
Overall, market direction may hinge on earnings performance, economic data releases, and central bank signals.
(By Kevin Buckland; Editing by Edmund Klamann)