Asian equity markets started the new week on a down note, tracking the overall pessimism seen in the US on Friday following disappointing results from JPMorgan, but have since pared some of the opening weakness. Nikkei225 remains the biggest loser with a 1.5% slide, but still off session lows. S&P/ASX and the Kospi are up marginally by 0.2%, while Taiwan, Shanghai, and Hong Kong markets are still down by under 0.5%. Front-month S&P futures are higher slightly, even as US equity markets will be closed on Monday session in observance of Martin Luther King Day.
Over in China, Oriental Morning Post reported that during the first 15 days of Jan, avg new home prices in Shanghai declined by 5% m/m to CNY20K per square meter, while the volume of new home sales fell 53% m/m.
Spot Gold prices have rebounded off of the earlier lows and currently trading above $1,132/oz. Gold has pared its loss as most of the Asian equities indices have rebounded of their lows. In terms of physical demand for gold, the SPDR Gold Trust ETF noted that its holdings declined by 0.9 metric tons to a total of 1,113 metric tons as of Jan 15. The ETF has not added to its gold holdings since Dec 29th.