The analyst principally responsible for the production of this research report is: Howard Humphreys, Director & Lead Research Analyst, Seismic Research
Asian stocks mixed ahead of U.S. spending cuts
Asian stocks were mixed today as S&P 500 futures reversed an early gain ahead of US$85Bn in automatic government spending cuts due to start kicking in tomorrow (unless a last minute compromise is reached).
The Nikkei-225 index reversed an early loss after a report showed Japan's consumer prices dropped for the eighth time in nine months, boosting speculation that the incoming Bank of Japan governor will expand monetary stimulus. The yen dropped against most peers.
Elsewhere in the region, the Shanghai Composite fell 0.6% as HSBC and China's government both said their respective gauges of Chinese manufacturing activity, in a final reading, indicated growth slowed in February. The official manufacturing PMI hit the lowest level in five months. HSBC said its gauge signalled a "slower pace of expansion" over the month, but that "China's recovery continues on improving domestic demand conditions and the labour market."
To read today's report in PDF in full, see link at the top of this story.
(For a more comprehensive summary of last night's market action see FNArena's Overnight Report.)
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