20 Apr 2022
Asian Stocks Turn Turbulent over China Lockdowns and Resulting Economic Policy
The Index Today
Major Asian stock markets gained on Wednesday after witnessing overnight highs on Wall Street. However, trading turned turbulent in the wake of mounting U.S. Treasury yields as China implemented a guarded financial policy to revive an economy battered by COVID-19 lockdowns and curbs.
According to Reuters, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan climbed by 0.6%, marking its first gain in a week spurred by highs in Hong Kong which gained by 0.8%. Japan’s Nikkei rose by 0.9% while the yen, in an unusual move, gained against the dollar following repetitive drops for the past couple of weeks.
The Chinese blue chips slid by 0.83% after the central bank kept its benchmark borrowing rates the same. This comes despite the government’s vow to help the economy which has been struggling in the wake of lockdowns and curbs as the country battles its worst COVID-19 outbreak since March, 2020.
According to UBP’s Carlos Casanova, "Investors were looking for stimulus from China but the PBOC didn't deliver today." He added, "Markets inevitably are going to interpret that in a negative way with the lockdowns extending into April and beyond, meaning the worst months for economic data are ahead of us."