The new trading week started positively in Asia. After Wall Street had risen sharply on Friday (22/01) due to higher oil prices (particularly causing surging energy stocks), Asia extended the rally on Monday (25/01). In addition, investors are optimistic that the central bank of Japan will turn to more easing (the institution will conduct its monthly policy meeting later this week), while the European Central Bank had already hinted at further easing in last week's policy meeting.
After Asian trade opened on Monday, oil prices continued to rise. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were nearly unchanged at USD $32.20 per barrel, but Brent was up 0.22 percent to USD $32.25 per barrel. The snow storm in the USA is partly responsible for rising oil prices.
Investors had also reacted positively to ECB President Mario Draghi's speech last week when he said - following the turmoil in the financial markets - "it will therefore be necessary to review and possibly reconsider our monetary policy stance at our next meeting in March." This statement managed to boost equities worldwide.
Market participants' attention will also be given to the first monthly policy meeting of the Federal Reserve in the new year (27-28 January) as they will look for clues about the timing of another interest rate hike and the Fed's thoughts about China's economic slowdown.
Risk aversion brought about by concern about a China-led global slowdown and tumbling oil prices (touching 13-year lows) had shocked global stock markets in the first three weeks of 2016 resulting in the worst start of the year ever.
At 09:20 am local Jakarta time on Monday, China's Shanghai Composite Index had risen 0.80 percent, Japan's Nikkei 225 Index was up 0.68 percent, Singapore's Straits Times Index had surged 1.04 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index had risen 1.88 percent. Meanwhile, Indonesia's benchmark Jakarta Composite Index was up 0.40 percent to 4,474.68 points, while the Indonesian rupiah had appreciated 0.07 percent to IDR 13,835 per US dollar (Bloomberg Dollar
Index) by the same time.
Last Friday (22/01) the Dow Jones industrial average surged 1.3 percent, the Standard & Poor's 500 index jumped 2 percent, while the Nasdaq composite index climbed 2.7 percent.