Asia Stocks Edge Lower as Biden’s Team Shows Signs of Tough Approach on China

Asia Stocks Edge Lower as Biden’s Team Shows Signs of Tough Approach on China.

Stocks in Asia edged lower in the morning session on Friday, following the negativity in the market which reported that the Biden’s administration could be as tough as the former president Donald Trump when it comes to China.

 

U.S. stocks finished mixed on Thursday as the energy sector pulled back noticeably, weighing on the market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average decreased 12.37 points or 0.04% to close at 31,176.01. The S&P 500 increased 1.22 points or 0.03% to close at 3,853.07. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 73.67 points or 0.55% to close at 13,530.91, making a new high for the benchmark.

As of 9:43 local time in Thailand, Nikkei dropped 0.40%, SSEC slipped 0.47%, HSI dipped 0.89%, ASX200 fell 0.25%, while Kospi rose 0.50%.

 

Comments and opinions from experts regarding China flooded in after the inauguration day of Joe Biden. an American public policy expert said on Thursday that Biden’s team has shown early signs that it sides with the Trump’s administration on several “extremely touchy” issues concerning China.

Most experts pointed out that Biden’s team agrees with the previous administration’s assessment that China committed genocide against the minority Uighur Muslims in Xin Jiang. The team also made it clear that the U.S. will not be abandoning Taiwan anytime soon.

 

In the meantime, the U.S. Department of Labor reported the number of applicants for first-time jobless benefits stood at 900,000 in the past week. (Ended 16 Jan), although down from the previous week of about 26,000 but the figure is still higher than the 665,000 cases which is the highest level made during the years 2007-2009, at that time the Great Recession. The impact from the coronavirus outbreak continues

Crude oil prices went down after reporting increased reserves. The American Petroleum Institute (API) Crude Oil Reserve reported a 2.6 million barrel increase in U.S. crude oil reserves last week (ending 15 Jan), contrary to Market Consensus is expected to fall by 1.2 million barrels.

 

Krungsri Securities (KSS) expected the SET Index could test 1,500 – 1,505 support levels today. Despite positive sentiment from easier Covid restrictions in Bangkok, disappointing results could trigger selling pressure in banks (KTB, SCB, BBL) while slowing fund inflows will weigh on the index.