Asia Pacific Stock Market Review
Comment of the Day

June 10 2010

Commentary by David Fuller

Asia Pacific Stock Market Review

It will not have escaped your attention that there has been a lot of bearish talk recently. Well, the West's debt problems are certainly alarming but those of us who live in these countries should try not to view all other nations through the same lenses.

David Fuller's view For instance, what does the Greek debt problem and regional contagion risk have to do with China? Not a lot, really, beyond some temporary influence on sentiment.

What about China's property bubble, monetary squeeze and lousy stock market performance (weekly & daily) since last July?

Well, I am actually more concerned about supply in the form of new IPOs, a factor which I have mentioned repeatedly since these soared to twice what we were seeing in the US stock market last year, despite America's economy and overall stock market capitalisation being much larger. China moved pre-emptively to check a developing property bubble (we should have been so lucky in the West); this appears to be cooling the property market and the PRC has less cause to worry about inflation.

Also, China needs to sustain strong GDP growth to create jobs. If its economy continues to expand at approximately 10% per annum, which is not an unreasonable hypothesis, what might that support in terms of stock market appreciation when sentiment improves? Considerably higher levels, I believe, subject to the IPO supply headwind.

Meanwhile, the Shanghai Composite Index's decline shown above looks somewhat overstretched and has lost downward momentum since the second half of May. A close beneath 2480 is required to offset current scope for sideways to higher ranging.

China looks like a recovery candidate but the best way to play it, so far, has been via its Asian suppliers of commodities. Some of these countries are also popular tourist destinations and additionally have their own developing assembly and manufacturing sectors. Indonesia (weekly & daily), Thailand (weekly & daily) and The Philippines (weekly & daily) remain above their 200-day MAs and have been generally steady during stock market turmoil in the West.

Nevertheless, these are not the most obvious continuation patterns and the overall uptrends have lost much of their earlier consistency. Consequently they need to hold above their recent reaction lows, something they are unlikely to do if the S&P 500 Index (weekly & daily) breaks beneath its lows near 1040 for more that a day or two. Even if these Asian leaders remain steady, we should not be surprised to see some further sideways ranging given the choppy activity generally, which is a sign of uncertainty.

This review continues next week. For much more on stock markets, please listen to Thursday's Audio.

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