It doesn’t happen often, but every single Asian market was up overnight. That’s more significant than the 0.5% rise in MSCI’s Asia-Pacific Index. The Nikkei was the top performer with a 1.1% rise, followed by Jakarta at +0.81%, Sensex at +0.63% and KOSPI at +0.5%.
Intra-Asian trade is booming, judging from the recent Japanese and Chinese trade data. China’s economy is growing at 6.9% (or even more according to a New York Fed calculation), Japan is on track for 1% GDP growth this year, and all the economies of the Asian littoral are growing. Japan (and the Asian Development Bank) and China (and the Asian Infrastructure Bank) are competing for influence in the region, in something of a bidding war conducted with foreign direct investment.
There’s nothing not to like except, of course, for North Korean nuclear missiles. But Washington and Beijing appear to agree that the spoilers in Pyongyang shouldn’t be allowed to ruin the party. Korea remains our favorite Asian market.