Asian shares mixed despite jitters after US bank failure
But the falls were relatively subdued because of reassurances from US officials that financial shocks would be mitigated, sending US futures higher.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 slipped 1.1 percent to finish at 27,832.96. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.5 percent to 7,108.80. South Korea’s Kospi recouped earlier losses to gain 0.8 percent to 2,412.84.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng jumped 1.9 percent to 19,683.23. The Shanghai Composite rose nearly 1.1 percent to 3,263.88, as Chinese shares tracked a gain in US futures. Dow futures were up 1.2 percent at 32,552.00. S&P 500 futures rose 1.7 percent to 3,964.00. Oil prices vacillated throughout the day.
Before trading began in Asia, the US Treasury Department, Federal Reserve and FDIC said Sunday, March 12, that all Silicon Valley Bank clients will be protected and have access to their funds and announced steps designed to protect the bank’s customers and prevent more bank runs.
Regulators closed Silicon Valley Bank on Friday amid a run on the bank, which was the second-largest US bank failure behind the 2008 failure of Washington Mutual. They also announced Sunday that New York-based Signature Bank was being seized after it became the third-largest bank failure in US history.
Following two bank failures, worries about financial stability and liquidity concerns were dominating the market landscape, said Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management in Hong Kong.
He said traders made nervous by the weekend’s news could create “a ready-aim-fire Monday open.”
“With the market likely headed for a more turbulent period with US inflation on a collision course with Bank ‘theater of tragedy,’ now is probably not the best time for investor euphoria,” Innes said.
But the sense that US authorities were taking steps to limit “the contagion effect” helped calm the situation somewhat, although “markets remain skittish” in Asia, said Venkateswaran Lavanya at Mizuho Bank. (AP)