Asian Equities Mixed as Recession Fears Grow, China Promises Economy Stabilization

In Asia, markets were mixed as investors continued to fret about a global economic slowdown. Wall Street stocks fell for the second week in a row for the first time since September as investors worried about the Federal Reserve’s continued rate hikes.

According to a statement released after China’s annual budget-setting Central Economic Work Conference last week, officials there promised to stabilize the economy in 2023 and keep financial markets well-supplied so that the country could achieve its most crucial goals.

As of 9.32 A.M. (Thai time), Hong Kong’s  Hang Seng index rose 0.50%, mostly led by technology stocks, while the Shanghai Composite fell 0.75% in mainland China as the city announced it will shut most schools again Monday as the number of Covid cases surged.

The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia was flat.

In Japan, The Nikkei 225 dropped 1.03% and South Korea’s Kospi was 0.19 lower.

Despite investors’ hype over last week’s softer-than-expected US inflation data, their optimism has since waned as Fed officials have made it clear that interest rates will continue to rise until they are sure that inflation has been brought under control. A flurry of rate hikes and hawkish views from central banks throughout the world, including the European Central Bank, has harmed sentiment even further.

Meanwhile, market participants are monitoring reports of a spike in Covid infections in China. Still, investors may be relieved when China’s top leaders stated that they will focus on growing the economy next year, implying business-friendly measures and additional assistance for the property market while possibly reducing fiscal stimulus.