Nasdaq And S&P 500 Have Fallen, USD Is Still Really Strong. What About Asia? | Asia Morning Bites | ING Economics

Sunrun's Path to Recovery: Analysts Place Bets on High Growth Amidst Renewable Energy Challenges

Plunging US equities set the tone for Asian markets 

Source: shutterstock
Source: shutterstock

Macro outlook

  • Global: Yesterday was a horrible session for US stocks. Selling pressure was evident from the starting bell, and equity futures today are signalling no sign of buying the dip either. The S&P500 fell more than 4% and the NASDAQ was down 4.73%. The S&P now stands just one bad day away from an official bear market. The NASDAQ is already there. Benchmark FX markets reflected the risk-off tone and reversed yesterday’s moves and more. The EURUSD is now back down to 1.0474, and this has helped pull the AUD back below 70 cents. The JPY has begun to appreciate again and is now at 128.24 whilst the KRW also made gains on a day when most Asian FX was looking fairly weak. US Treasuries too were benefiting from the fall in risk sentiment. Yields on the 2Y US Treasury note fell 3.1bp to 2.669%, while those on the 10Y bond fell 10.2bp to take the yield to 2.884%.

    There’s not much on the macro calendar today. US existing home sales may just be worth a second or two’s glance. With growing talk of recession vs soft-landing, the interest-sensitive housing sectors may provide a sneak preview of any turn in the economic cycle.

  • Australia: Australia releases its April employment report shortly, and the market is looking for employment growth of about 30,000 and a further slight fall in the unemployment rate to 3.9% from 4.0%. We don’t have any issues with these assumptions. A 3.9% or lower unemployment rate would be a new record low, but we don’t think it particularly changes the story for the RBA, now that they have accepted that inflation is sustainably above their target. Likewise, yesterday’s slightly lower than expected wage price index is not particularly binding right now. All that a very strong labour report may do is raise the prospects of greater than 25bp hikes at forthcoming meetings.

  • China: The Shanghai lockdown is unwinding gradually. The government expects the end of the lockdown will be in early June. For now, Beijing and Tianjin both have districts under lockdown. We expect more districts will be locked down as more Covid clusters are found. The port of Tianjin is important for hard commodity trade. Though we have not seen disruption in Tianjin’s port yet, this could become an issue if stricter social distancing measures are applied. Domestic prices of commodities could increase in this case.

  • Japan: The trade deficit widened to -JPY839bn in April (vs -JPY412.4bn in March), recording the 9th consecutive month of deficit. Exports grew 12.5% YoY while imports rose by 28.2%. Import growth remained rapid, but probably peaked last November (+ 43.8%). Meanwhile, March core machinery orders rebounded by 7.1%MoM (vs 3.9% market consensus), partially offsetting the previous month’s loss of -9.8%. 

    Yesterday’s 1Q22 GDP was better than expected. But this means that the 2Q rebound will probably be weaker than we previously thought. Pent-up demand-driven consumer spending will lead growth in 2Q, but higher inflation will dampen household purchasing power and moderate any bounce. Today’s data suggest that trade will remain the main drag on 2Q growth, while investment spending will decelerate further. We are planning to revise down 2Q22 GDP soon.

  • Philippines: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) meets to decide on policy today.  Governor, Diokno, who previously vowed to keep rates untouched through to the second half of the year now indicates that the space to keep accommodation has “narrowed significantly”.  We expect BSP to hike policy rates by 25 bps and possibly hint at additional tightening at the 23 June meeting. 

What to look out for: US initial jobless claims

  • Japan trade balance (19 May)
  • Australia unemployment (19 May)
  • Philippines BSP policy meeting (19 May)
  • Singapore 1Q GDP final (19 May)
  • US initial jobless claims (19 May)
  • Japan CPI inflation (20 May)
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Sunrun's Path to Recovery: Analysts Place Bets on High Growth Amidst Renewable Energy Challenges

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