Asian stocks refresh record tops despite sluggish markets in India, New Zealand

  • Asian shares track S&P 500 Futures to north amid US stimulus hopes.
  • Wellington-Beijing tussle, comments from RBNZ’s Orr weigh on NZX 50.
  • Indian markets consolidate recent gains ahead of trade deficit data.
  • China’s downbeat inflation favors the need for further monetary supply, BOJ policymaker hints easy money going forward.

Asian equities stay on the front-foot as US policymakers progress in discussing the much-awaited covid stimulus. Also backing the mood could be the positive developments concerning the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccinations and performance of the US stocks. Even so, some in the group, like India, Indonesia and New Zealand, mark lackluster moves amid mixed clues.

While portraying the mood, MSCI’s index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan crossed the previous month’s peak, the all-time high, whereas Japan’s Nikkei 225 wavers around 29,500 with no major moves.

Japanese traders seem to weigh on comments from Bank of Japan (BOJ) monetary policy board member Seiji Nakamura suggesting prolonged easy money policies while Australia’s ASX 200 gain over half a percent to currently around 6,860 as Australian Westpac Consumer Sentiment data crossed -3.0% forecast and -4.5% prior with +1.9% figures for February.

China’s CSI300 refreshed the highest levels in 13 years whereas Shanghai Composite rose to a five-year top as downbeat inflation data for January suggests Beijing needs further easy money to completely overcome the pandemic. However, a one-week-long holiday period in the dragon nation restricts the moves near the multi-day tops.

It should be noted that China’s suspension of New Zealand’s seafood, as per the South China Morning Post (SCMP), joins the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s (RBNZ) cautious optimism to keep a tab on the NZX 50. On the same line, India’s BSE Sensex drops near half a percent during the second consecutive loss-making day, after the six-day winning streak, as traders await December’s trade deficit figures amid farmers agitation at home. Indonesia’s IDX Composite also joined the league of losers with mild negatives as the covid woes firm in the Asian nation despite strong vaccination drive.

Looking forward, global traders await the US inflation data and comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell to defy the relation fears.

Read: US Consumer Price Index January Preview: Can consumer demand spur prices?

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