Asian stocks ended the trading session relatively flat today as most traders and investors eagerly await the release of the nonfarm payroll data report which would provide an insight into the underlying strength of the labour markets in the US economy. Economists on the street believe that the US economy would show additions of 250,000 jobs which would be a huge positive and would provide the Federal Reserve with enough head room to hike interest rates for the first time in seven years. It is imperative to state that any form of rate hike would be seen as a huge negative for the equity markets in Asia. Most Asian currencies were flat to positive during the trading session today on the back of the weakness seen in the dollar in Friday’s trading session due to weak manufacturing data.
The Chinese equity markets were subdued for most part of the session today but rallied in the last hour of trading ending the trading session higher by close to 4 percent. The rally in the equity markets was on the back of reports that the Chinese government could introduce further stimulus measures in the near term to kick start the economy after it was reported that manufacturing activity in the world’s second largest economy did not show any growth in the previous month which was seen as a huge negative. It was also reported today that the government and market regulators believe that the sell off in Chinese equities was brought on by short sellers and investigations are being carried out to bring the guilty to justice.
The Indian markets closed the session lower today on the back of the Reserve Bank of India not cutting benchmark interest rates. Critics of the Reserve Bank of India policy stance believe that by not cutting interest rates the Central bank was hurting growth prospects.