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China and the Fed are pushing markets into uncertainty

Markets with little enthusiasm today: the Asian session ends in red, with a drop of more than 2% in the Hong Kong market.
The Fed and China remain the focus of investors' attention.
Traders gave up bets on a deep rate cut by the Federal Reserve next year, while a broad stock sell-off in the dragon hurt sentiment.
In Asia, there are no new equity catalysts to be found, following the region's best monthly rally since January.
A benchmark for Chinese onshore stocks is trading at its lowest since 2019, with better-than-expected data on services activity failing to allay concerns about the economy's uncertain growth trajectory.
In this context, the next Fed decisions and greater indications on the dragon's recovery may further favor market volatility.
Asia in the red and uncertain prospects: the reasons are China and the Fed.
The data coming from China are conflicting.
The Caixin Services Purchasing Managers' Index for November rose to a three-month high, diverging from China's official PMI reading of a contraction.
The result stood at 51.5 in November, up from 50.4 in October and 50.2 in September.
However, China's official non-manufacturing services PMI sub-index for November, released last week, recorded a 49.3, showing a contraction for the first time since December 2022.
“The Chinese economy has been quite slow while this lack of confidence continues,” Yan Wang, strategist at Alpine Macro Inc, said on Bloomberg Television.
“Going into the new year, the trajectory won't improve much unless there are big changes,” in terms of official stimulus, he added.
read also Why are the markets "against" the Fed and the ECB? In the US, jobs data revealed in the coming days will help identify the prospect of a soft landing in the world's largest economy.
Nearly 125 basis points of easing is priced in until the Fed's December meeting next year.
Be careful, however, of nasty surprises.
“The market has more or less priced the soft landing scenario (for the U.S.
economy) to perfection,” said Moh Siong Sim, a strategist at the Bank of Singapore.
“Overnight there was a bit of a reality check – maybe it was too ambitious.” “All eyes will be on Friday's monthly jobs report to see if it confirms the cooling trend we've seen for much of the past month,” said Chris Larkin of Morgan Stanley's E*Trade.
Otherwise, fears could be renewed that the Fed's decision to cut rates in 2024 will be delayed.
The Federal Reserve and China therefore remain the absolute protagonists of the markets.
Investors' expectations of an economic recovery or recession depend on their moves – and on the macro data on the two global powers.

Author: A.W.M.

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