Asia Pacific Markets Decrease as the US Fed Is Wary with Rate Cuts

On Monday morning (5 Feb, 9:44 AM, GMT+7, Bangkok time), most major indices in Asia Pacific declined after Jerome Powell, the US Fed Chair, stated about the possibility that the central bank would take actions regarding rate cuts slower than the market expectations.

Meanwhile, investors also awaited for economic data coming this week, including private surveys on service sector activity from China, retail sales figures for December from Singapore, and inflation numbers for January from Thailand.


Australia’s ASX 200 dropped by 0.81% to 7,636.7. South Korea’s KOSPI fell by 1.46% to 2,577.1, while Japan’s NIKKEI edged up by 0.55% to 36,355.7.

As for stocks in China, Shanghai’s SSEC contracted by 2.1% to 2,672.85. Shenzhen’s SZI slumped by 2.8% to 7,830.6, while Hong Kong’s HSI dipped by 0.39% to 15,472.47.


Meanwhile, the US stocks market edged higher on Friday as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) climbed by 0.35% to 38,654.42. NASDAQ jumped by 1.74% to 15,628.95, and S&P 500 grew by 1.07% to 4,958.61. VIX slid by 0.22% to 13.85.


As for commodities, oil prices settled lower on Friday as the US jobs data minimized the odds of the Fed interest rate cuts, raising concerns over lower oil demand, while the struggle in China regarding the recovery of its economic growth and some easing tensions in the Middle East also caused oil prices to fall. Brent decreased $1.37 or 1.7% to $77.33 per barrel, and the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) dropped $1.54 or 2% to $72.28 a barrel.

This morning, Brent increased 14 cents or 0.18% to $77.47 a barrel, and WTI gained 5 cents or 0.07% to $72.33 per barrel.

Meanwhile, gold futures slid by 0.04% to $2,052.8 per Troy ounce.