- Asian indexes underperform as anxiety rises ahead of FOMC minutes.
- The rising number of Covid-19 infections in China limited the growth of related indices.
- Accelerating supply concerns and the subsequent decline in oil inventories are supporting oil prices.
Markets in the Asian domain underperformed despite solid gains reported by the S&P500 on Tuesday. Asian stocks turned cautious ahead of the release of the minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, due to be released on Thursday. US dollar index (DXY) showed signs of recovery after falling to near 107.00 amid mixed market sentiment reactions.
At press time, the ChinaA50 was marginally down 0.10%, the Hang Seng gained 0.65% and the Nifty50 added 0.12%. Meanwhile, Japan’s Nikkei225 is closed on Wednesday for Thanksgiving.
Chinese markets are failing to gain traction despite overall optimism in global markets. Rising Covid-19 infections are expected to force the Chinese administration to return to curb curbs as the only measure to limit the spread.
Outside Asia, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) announced a 75 basis point (bps) rate hike. Earlier, the central bank raised its official cash rate (OCR) by 50 bps. The RBNZ has raised its OCR by 50 basis points in five consecutive monetary policy sessions. A major rate hike announcement by the RBNZ made it clear that the central bank is concerned about escalating inflationary pressures. The price growth index shows no signs of exhaustion and has not yet confirmed a peak.
On the oil front, crude prices are being supported by accelerating supply concerns and a subsequent drop in crude inventories, according to data from the American Petroleum Institute (API). The oil cartel has confirmed that the current OPEC+ deal will continue until the end of 2023. Earlier, oil-exporting countries agreed to cut oil production by two million barrels each day to boost oil prices. While the US API reported a decline oil inventories by 4.8 million barrels in the week ending Nov. 18.