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Asia in the Red After Taiwan Earthquake, Europe Aiming to Get Off the Ground

Asia in the Red After Taiwan Earthquake, Europe Aiming to Get Off the Ground

The European stock markets are pointing to an almost unchanged start to trading, with Euro Stoxx 50 futures at the waterline.

The lukewarm start to the session comes on a day when new economic data will be released in the Eurozone. This Wednesday, 3 April, Eurostat releases the flash estimate for inflation in March and unemployment figures.

This data will be closely analysed by investors, since the evolution of price increases and the situation in the labour market are two of the points that the European Central Bank (ECB) takes into account when deciding the course of monetary policy.

In Asia, the session ended in the red, following the trend on Wall Street yesterday (2). The market is assessing the chance that robust economic data, combined with higher commodity prices, will lead the Federal Reserve (Fed) to keep interest rates at current levels for longer.

In addition, trading was also penalised by an earthquake in Taipei, Taiwan. The region was hit by an earthquake measuring 7.4 on the Richter scale, the strongest in the area in 25 years. Impacts were felt in China and Japan, which has already issued a tsunami alert.

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In China, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong fell 1.15 per cent, while the Shanghai Composite fell 0.2 per cent. In Japan, the Nikkei lost 0.97 per cent and the Topix slid 0.29 per cent, while in South Korea, the Kospi fell 1.56 per cent.

One of the focuses of investors’ attention on Wednesday will be Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech at Stanford in California. The expectation is that his words will provide clues as to the central bank’s rationale for interest rates.

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