Listen to this article
This is an experimental feature. Give us your feedback. Thank you for your feedback.
What do you think?
Stocks across Asia were mixed on Tuesday as investors grappled with Wall Street’s lowest level of volatility since before the financial crisis amid a holiday-interrupted week.
Japan’s Topix was up 0.6 per cent, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.5 per cent owing to a bad day for the banks. ANZ Banking Group was down 2.7 per cent, retreating from a record high after the lender reported a half-year profit that missed analysts’ expectations.
After returning from a long weekend, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 0.4 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite was fractionally lower. Singapore’s Straits Times index, also returning from a holiday, was up 0.9 per cent with a strong showing from DBS, which reported an increase in net profit during the March quarter.
The Chicago Board Options Exchange implied volatility index – Wall Street’s preferred fear gauge – slid on Monday to its lowest close since mid-February 2007. The Vix finished at 10.11, and at one point traded below the 10-point mark for the second time this year.
The low level of volatility helped push the Nasdaq Composite to its sixth record high close in a row, and the S&P 500 up by 0.2 per cent, leaving it one-third of one percentage point from its March peak.
The Vix has quickly returned to subdued, near-record low levels relatively quickly following numerous geopolitical events over the past year – such as the Brexit vote, the US election and France’s presidential vote – that analysts expected to unnerve markets.
On Monday, UK, German and French markets were closed for public holidays.