Asia market trends Tuesday: Growing pessimism over global economic outlook

Singapore durian vendorSingapore durian fruit

Asian markets will open Tuesday with fresh signs of pessimism over the outlook for global economic growth. Wall Street will provide few cues on Tuesday after being closed for a federal holiday on Monday.

The International Monetary Fund lowered its forecasts for global economic growth this year and next amid softness in Europe and some emerging markets, and it expressed continued concerns over trade tensions, Reuters reported.

In addition, the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, was preparing to kick off, with global CEOs, and particularly those in the U.S., expecting economic growth to slow ahead, Reuters reported.

PwC Singapore said on Tuesday that its survey showed CEOs across the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, had grown more pessimistic, with nearly half saying they expected global economic growth would decline.

“With the rise of trade tension and protectionism it stands to reason that business confidence is waning,” Yeoh Oon Jin, executive chairman at PwC Singapore, said in a note on Tuesday.

Indexes

March futures for Japan’s Nikkei 225 index were down 205 points at 20,745 at 7:30 A.M. SGT, according to CME data. That compares with the index’s close at 20,719.33, up 0.26 percent, on Monday.

Singapore’s Straits Times Index edged down 0.12 percent to 3220.56 on Monday; January futures for the index were at 3222 on Monday, while February and March futures were at 3225 and 3223 respectively, according to SGX data.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.39 percent to 27,196.539 on Monday, while China’s CSI 300 Index was up 0.55 percent at 3185.636.

Malaysia’s KLCI  was closed on Monday for the Thaipusam holiday; it rose 0.55 percent to 1692.22 on Friday. Indonesia’s IDX composite edged up 0.04 percent to 6450.83 on Monday.

U.S. markets were closed on Monday for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday, which marks the birthday of the U.S. civil rights leader. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 2.06 percent to 24,706.35 on Friday, the Nasdaq Composite gained 1.03 percent to 7157.228, and the S&P 500 1.32 percent rose 2670.71.

Futures for the three indexes dropped in early trade. The e-mini Dow futures were off 97 points at 7:26 A.M. SGT, according to CME data.

Oil

Nymex WTI crude oil futures for February were up 0.15 percent at US$53.88 a barrel at 7:01 A.M. SGT, while ICE Brent crude futures for March were up 0.06 percent at US$62.74 a barrel at 6:59 A.M. SGT, according to Bloomberg data.

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