Well That Was Awkward

So there I was last night watching the Asian markets as I advised others in my latest article.

One after another opened in the red (e.g., down). Japan? Check. Korea? Check, and so on as I awaited the Chinese markets.

More often than not, I watch (more like just have on as I read) by having the television tuned in-to CNBC™, but with the sound off, glancing up occasionally to see if any interesting guest or market movements are posted at the bottom or side of the screen as it rotates through the various ones, with last night being no exception.

As the early evening wore on I noticed the U.S. market futures were continually posted as “unchanged.” I knew the U.S. was open so I toggled over to Bloomberg™ and sure enough the futures were posting showing the selling pressure. So, I flipped it back to CNBC (I prefer their Asia coverage) and thought no more about it. Then, when China should have come on-line I watched more intently, and watched, and watched, and watched. Nothing.

It wasn’t till about 10:00pm ET I started questioning if I messed up on the time difference not being in sync, for Asia doesn’t follow the daylight savings time adjustment of back and forth we do in the U.S. Or, was CNBC’s market tickers not showing the price movement like its U.S. tickers were. So, I decided to turn the volume up and see if I could figure out what was going on. Which I did, much to my surprise.

About 15 minutes into the next program I heard one of the hosts say something along the following lines, “It would be interesting to see how China would be reacting, but their markets are closed today in observance of a local holiday.”

Wait…what? was my response with a few expletives thrown in for color.

I did not know that China’s market was celebrating a holiday. As a matter of fact, I was rather surprised that they would announce their plans for reaction to the tariffs on Friday, then go into an extended weekend with their markets closed having to the react to what may be taking place, rather than preemptively setting or reacting to any initial fallout, if any, within their own markets first.

That, from a tactical viewpoint of intent may speak volumes or, may mean nothing at all. But it is another point of drama for this evolving soap-opera, that’s for sure.

As for my calls on watching the Asian (in-particular China) closely – all of it still stands. The only difference now is to see how their markets react when they finally open this week, for their shortened session could exacerbate an already skittish market as we are seeing this AM.

And for those who really want to know how I reacted when I found out that China was on holiday, when I thought for sure they were open? Hint: Think Ralphie from “A Christmas Story” (1983 MGM/UA Entertainment Co.) when he rushes into the bathroom after receiving his secret decoder to unravel the hidden messages contained within the “Little Orphan Annie” program, only to find he’s been had. The only difference in my case?

“An expletive holiday?!”

© 2018 Mark St.Cyr