Fast Asia Open: S Korea unemployment, Philippines trade data

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With passive investing passing the $4tn mark in April, things aren’t exactly looking up for active asset managers.

New product launches and investor inflows mean there are now almost 7,000 exchange-traded products managed by 313 providers and total assets of $4.002tn at the end of April, according to fresh figures from ETFGI, an industry data provider.

The relentless flood of money into passive investment vehicles is a blow to the asset management industry, which has struggled to stem outflows — especially in areas that are more acutely vulnerable to competition from ETFs, such as mainstream US equities. As a result, US-listed investment groups have lagged behind the broader market since the end of the financial crisis, despite rising markets swelling their assets under management.

On Wall Street the S&P 500 gained just 0.1 per cent on Wednesday, stopping one point short of the 2,400-point mark at the close. International oil benchmark Brent crude climbed back above $50 a barrel for the first time in a week.

In Asia Pacific equities, futures tip the S&P/ASX 200 index to climb 0.2 per cent in Sydney when trading begins, while Tokyo’s Topix is set to gain the same amount. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is expected to rise 0.4 per cent at the open.

Corporate earnings reports out today include Rakuten, Nissan Motor, Bridgestone, Panasonic, KDDI, Daiwa House Industry, Wilmar International, DeNA, Konica Minolta, Square Enix, Konami, and Daiichi Sankyo.

The economic calendar for Thursday isn’t trying to fool anyone, honest (all times Hong Kong):

  • 07.00: South Korea unemployment rate
  • 07.50: Japan balance of payments current account balance
  • 09.00: Philippines imports, exports and trade balance
  • 12.00: Malaysia industrial production
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