Asian Equites Dropped on Chinese Manufacturing Contraction and Tech Stocks Drag

Asian equites inched down as Chinese manufacturing shows contraction and technology stocks weighed on Asia.

Equites in Mainland China, Hong Kong dropped as data showing contraction in Chinese manufacturing while share in South Korea and Japan are steady.

S&P500 closed lower for the first time in five days and tech heavy Nasdaq100 dropped as talks between Russia and Ukraine stalled.

Chinese stocks are under pressure as output data reflect the damage of renewed lockdowns in technology and factory hubs. Further denting sentiment, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s chief tamped down speculation that a deal is brewing to keep about 200 Chinese stocks from losing their listings. Meanwhile, China’s central bank vowed to boost confidence and provide more effective support to the economy.

Treasuries added to gains across the curve, while a portion of the curve has pulled out of a brief inversion that raised concerns about an impending recession. The dollar held a retreat.

“I don’t think it’s quite the bear market, but I would say, what is the upside of equities from here — I don’t think it’s that much,” Seema Shah, chief strategist at Principal Global Investors, said on Bloomberg TV, as reported by Bloomberg.

“But the downside risks are so great. Not only is, of course, the geopolitical crisis going on. But then you have the Fed hikes.”

Russia said talks with Ukraine yielded no breakthroughs and that it was regrouping forces in a push to complete the takeover of the eastern Donbas region. Germany said Russia has backed off its demand that natural gas purchases be made in rubles, with a payment mechanism being worked out.

Reports that Washington is preparing a plan to release roughly a million barrels of oil a day helped reverse a rebound in crude. The news comes ahead of an OPEC+ supply meeting later Thursday, where the cartel is expected to stick with its strategy of a modest output boost in May. Crude oil WTI is trading around $101 a barrel while Brent is trading around $108 a barrel.