Asian markets fluctuate as traders weigh growth prospects

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HONG KONG: Asian markets fluctuated Wednesday (Jan. 25) as traders in several countries bounced back from the Lunar New Year lull to a soft lead from Wall Street, while recession fears continue to be a concern.

While equities had a strong start to the year as a slowdown in inflation gave central banks room to moderate rate hikes, attention is now turning to the impact of last year’s increases on the economy.

Concerns about growth prospects and the impact of higher tariffs on corporate profits also offset optimism about China’s reopening after years of strict zero-Covid measures.

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Data showing a slight improvement in US manufacturing and services activity failed to calm nerves, while data still shows sectors contracting.

Attention now turns to next week’s Federal Reserve policy meeting, with speculation growing that it will raise rates by 25 basis points.

Traders will also study the bank statement to get an idea about future movements.

A jumble of US earnings reports failed to allay concerns, and gains in all markets since the turn of the year are said to have gone too far for the time being.

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“As we move into earnings season with news from a broader segment of the economy, investors will focus intently on the nuts and bolts of the economy and pay more attention to what Corporate America is saying before taking their next directional step,” he said. SPI. Stephen Innes of wealth management.

In Asian trading, Tokyo was slightly higher after rallying more than 3 percent in the past three trading days.

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Seoul and Singapore each rose more than 1 percent as investors returned from the break to catch up on a regional rally, while Wellington also rallied. Sydney submerged.

Oil prices rose slightly after falling sharply on Tuesday as traders weighed the outlook for a recession against the outlook for demand from China due to the zero-COVID policy.

Still, both main contracts remain at levels not seen since November.

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