The Syrian strike over the weekend, and the official indication that “mission accomplished” and that was a limited one-off strike has spurred a little market reaction. There is one more loose end, as it were, and that is that the US has indicated it will announce additional sanctions on Russia for its involvement in Syria’s chemical weapon use. The ruble is volatile but slightly firmer to start the week, and while dollar-bond yields are firmer, the ruble benchmark is steady.
Nor did the US decision to add India to its Treasury’s watchlist for countries meeting one or two of the legislated metrics for currency manipulation. The US dollar rose against 0.3% against the Indian rupee. It is knocking on the upper end of its range from Q4 17.
The Hong Kong dollar got no reprieve over the weekend. Despite repeated intervention by the HKMA, the currency is pinned, with the greenback at the top of the band.Hong Kong and Chinese shares earlier today, and it was enough to negate gains in most other markets to leave the MSCI Asia Pacific Index little changed (-0.1% after rising in four of five sessions last week).
The Hang Seng fell 1.6%. It was the third consecutive decline and all the major industry groups fell. Mainland shares that trade in Hong Kong Hong Kong Enterprise Index) was off a little more than 2%. The Shanghai Composite fell 1.6% and is now nursing a three-day slump. Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.25%. It is within striking distance of 22000, which has capped it since the end of February.
The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is struggling to hold on to early upticks and is putting at risk the two-day advance seen at the end of last week. Energy and consumer staples are leading the losses. Healthcare and information technology are holding on to small gains near midday in Europe. Oil is giving back some of last week’s gains. Brent and WTI are off nearly 1.5% after gaining more than 8% last week.
Bond yields are mostly higher with the US, and core European 10-year rates are three basis points higher, while peripheral European yields are up a bit less. After a deluge of supply, the US flood slows this week, with only the usual bill offerings and a five-year floating rate note on tap.