Asian markets track Wall St record ahead of Nvidia results, Fed minutes

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Markets have been boosted by hopes for a US interest rate cut and China's moves to shore up its property sector, though focus is now on earnings from chip titan Nvidia
Markets have been boosted by hopes for a US interest rate cut and China’s moves to shore up its property sector, though focus is now on earnings from chip titan Nvidia.
Photo: MOHD RASFAN / AFP
Source: AFP

Asian investors fought Wednesday to revive a recent rally across markets as they turned their focus on the release later in the day of earnings from US tech darling Nvidia.

Record closes for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq provided a little inspiration, even with few catalysts to drive buying, with minutes from the Federal Reserve’s May policy decision possibly giving an insight into officials’ thinking with regard to interest rates.

A slowdown in US inflation and China’s announcement last week of plans to support its crucial but battered property sector have helped propel equities but, with that euphoria petering out, traders are taking a breather.

The next major driver could be the results from Nvidia — the third-largest US company by market capitalisation — which is being seen as a gauge of overall market sentiment.

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The chip-making giant’s stock price has rocketed in recent years — its shares are up around 90 percent in 2024 — with the high-end processors prized by firms looking to get ahead in the booming artificial intelligence sector.

However, there is a worry that the figures do not match sky-high expectations, which some observers say could spark a hefty sell-off, particularly among market-heavyweight tech firms.

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After the previous day’s retreat, most Asian markets rose Wednesday, with Hong Kong, Shanghai, Sydney, Seoul, Wellington, Taipei and Jakarta all in positive territory. Tokyo fell, however.

Investors are also looking forward to getting an eye on the minutes from the Fed’s May 1 rate decision, which will be pored over for an idea about the thought process as decision-makers considered three straight months of above-forecast consumer inflation data.

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While the April reading on prices showed a slowdown, a number of central bank officials are reluctant to begin cutting too early.

Fed governor Christopher Waller said he wanted to see “several” months of additional data, while Atlanta boss Raphael Bostic warned that “one number is not a trend” and he did not see a reduction before the fourth quarter.

Bostic’s comments were echoed by his Cleveland and Boston counterparts Loretta Mester and Susan Collins.

“I think this is a moment or a period when patience really matters,” Collins said. “I think the data has been very mixed

“It’s going to take longer than I had previously thought.”

Key figures around 0230 GMT

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.6 percent at 38,719.35 (break)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng Index: UP 0.4 percent at 19,303.62

Shanghai – Composite: UP 0.2 percent at 3,164.06

Dollar/yen: UP at 156.24 yen from 156.18 yen on Tuesday

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Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0862 from $1.0858

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2722 from $1.2708

Euro/pound: DOWN at 85.39 from 85.41 pence

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 0.7 percent at $78.08 per barrel

Brent North Sea Crude: DOWN 0.7 percent at $82.33 per barrel

New York – Dow: UP 0.2 percent at 39,872.99 (close)

London – FTSE 100: DOWN 0.1 percent at 8,416.45 (close)

Source: AFP



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