How Investor Sentiment Influenced Stocks in Asia-Pacific

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There are numerous factors that have the potential to affect investor sentiment. For example, stocks in Asia-Pacific mostly declined on Friday as investor sentiment turned cautious, after an overnight selloff in the U.S.

Let’s start with Australia. Interestingly, the benchmark ASX 200 closed down 0.56% at 6,708.20. Importantly, the index retraced some of its earlier losses of more than 1%. It is worth noting that the energy and materials sectors dropped 2.03% and 1.41%, respectively. At the same time, the heavily-weighted financials subindex finished down 0.31%.

Let’s have a look at the stocks in Japan and other countries.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 fell 1.41% to 29,792. 05. In the meantime, the Topix index reversed losses to end its trading day 0.18% higher at 2,012.21.

As a reminder, Japan’s central bank concluded its two-day monetary policy meeting. The country’s central bank announced a raft of measures. The bank decided to widen the range at which the 10-year Japanese government bond yield is allowed to fluctuate from the target level between plus and minus 0.25%.

Moreover, the central bank removed its explicit guidance to buy exchange-traded funds (ETF) at an annual pace of roughly 6 trillion yen ($55 billion). Interestingly, it gives more room to wind back its market stimulus.

Let’s have a look at the information provided by the Bank of Japan. Importantly, instead of buying at a set pace, it would buy ETFs only when necessary, while maintaining a 12-trillion-yen ceiling for annual purchases.

People should keep in mind that the central bank kept its target of -0.1% for short-term rates. Moreover, the bank kept 0% for the 10-year yield under its yield curve control (YCC) policy.

Stocks around the region

As stated above, it was an easy day for stocks in Asia-Pacific. South Korea’s Kospi dropped 0.86% to 3,039.53. In the meantime, the Kosdaq turned around losses to add 0.24% to 952.11. Interestingly, tech names sold off as shares of Samsung Electronics declined 1.21%. Moreover, SK Hynix fell 2.82% and LG Electronics dropped 1.61%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index declined 1.76% in late-afternoon trade while Taiwan’s Taiex fell 1.34% to 16,070.24.

Mainland Chinese stocks also fell on March 19. The Shanghai composite dropped 1.69%. At the same time, the Shenzhen component lost 2.56% to 13,606.

Last but not least, the stock market on Wall Street struggled on Thursday, where tech shares were hit hard while the Dow and S&P also declined.

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