Nikkei 225 trading steady after Friday's worries

  • Japan equities open the week on steady footing despite Middle East action over the weekend.
  • Markets are releasing their grip on risk flights after last week's market tensions.

Japan's Nikkei 225 equity index is trading near the 21,800.00 level to kick off the new week, sticking close to Friday's ranges as Asia investors weigh their options.

The Nikkei has struggled through March and April unable to break above the 21,900.00 level in a meaningful manner after declining in February from a decades-long high of 24,186.00 in January. Last week's Middle East flare-up culminated in coordinated missile strikes against Syria by the US, the UK, and France, but reactions on market open were limited, and traders are heading into the new week ready for the next round geopolitical tensions.

Equities were far more concerned about the potential for a prolonged US presence in Syria following the ramp-up into missile strikes and possible altercations with Russia, but a lack of response from Russia outside of the mandatory rhetoric and affirmations that US President Trump has no interest in dedicating too many resources to Syria has led market participants into a middle ground of risk appetite, and the Nikkei is mixed in the Asia session after closing the week's bullish gap into 21,905.00.

Nikkei Levels to watch

The immediate challenge for Japan equity bulls will be to push the Nikkei over the 21,900.00 level, and make headway over resistance at February's swing high of 22,500.00, with support priced in at the 200-day SMA near 21,4800.00 and March's low of 20,320.00

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