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Yuan Rises on Housing Plan, Asia Awaits US CPI: Market Wrap

Yuan rises on China's housing plan, Asian stocks mixed ahead of US CPI data, commodities and currencies fluctuate.

By Athena Xu

5/15, 00:23 EDT

Key Takeaway

  • China's housing plan boosts the yuan and stabilizes Chinese shares, signaling potential relief for the property sector.
  • Mixed Asian stock market responses ahead of US CPI data reflect investor caution amidst regional and global economic cues.
  • Commodities like copper hit record highs, while WTI crude oil rises, impacting global trade and investment decisions.

Yuan and Asian Markets React to Housing Plan

The offshore yuan experienced gains while Chinese shares managed to recover from early losses following reports that China's government is contemplating a plan to purchase unsold homes, aiming to mitigate the current housing surplus. This news has brought a positive shift in investor sentiment towards the Chinese property sector, which has been under pressure. The proposal, if implemented, could see local governments across the nation buying millions of unsold residential properties, although details regarding the scale and timing remain awaited. Investors are keenly watching for further information, hopeful that such measures could provide substantial support to the struggling property market.

Mixed Movements in Asian Stocks Ahead of US CPI Data

Asian stock markets showed mixed responses as investors awaited the release of US CPI data, which is a significant indicator of inflationary pressures and could influence global monetary policy decisions. Japan's Topix and Nikkei indices saw upward movements, while Taiwan's stock market managed to overcome disappointing earnings reports, with the Taiex index adding 1.1%. However, Hong Kong markets were closed due to a holiday, pausing trading activities there. This varied performance in Asian markets reflects the cautious optimism among investors, balancing between regional economic developments and impending international economic indicators.

Commodities and Currencies Witness Fluctuations

In the commodities market, copper futures reached a record high due to a short squeeze, indicating a tight supply situation that has pushed prices upward. Meanwhile, WTI crude oil prices saw an increase, trading around $78.60, and gold prices remained steady near $2,360. The currency markets observed the yen holding steady at around 156.40 against the dollar, while the Australian and New Zealand dollars both appreciated by approximately 0.3%. These movements in the commodities and currency markets are closely watched by investors, as they can have significant implications for global trade and investment flows.