With France and Germany agreeing to support a plan to revitalize the European Banking system, Asian markets responded favorably, whether it was the modest gains of the Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index (HK:HSI +.02%) or the bigger jumps of Australian S&P/ASX 200 (AU:XJO +.92%). This, in particular for Australia who has witnessed an over 4% rise since last week (as others across the world were sweating), is incredible news. Clearly, they are not the only winners as European and U.S. markets responded a lot quicker, yet it becomes of particular significance as it reminds everyone the current economic environment that we currently live in.
There has been much talk of how the world has been turning on its pole, if you will. What was once the dependence of emerging markets towards their developed siblings has now turned into a more equal spectrum. The markets have changed from a more paternalistic environment, where developed and emerging markets were more along the lines of parent and child, to that of brothers/sisters, with one a little older and more developed than the other. The examples of this are widespread, whether looking at Chinese holdings of U.S. security bonds to even South Korea’s market place, which looks far more similar to that of a developed world than the emerging markets of Indonesia and others (though their currency still has a long way to go).
Still, with news like this, it is a much-needed reminder of the necessity of cooperation in these dark days. I do not intend to rain on anyone’s parade but the truth, as most probably already realize, is that this news will most likely dissipate by tomorrow, if not by the end of today. From there, the markets will probably still be facing the realities of little growth and thus, little demand for the exports Asian markets so desperately rely on. China and others have an expanding middle class, something that can create a nice cushion of consumer purchases if the Western world starts losing its appetite for the goods. But to be sure, it will not be enough to entirely protect them.
In a globalized world, the one connection that should most certainly not be forgotten is the Asian connection. This is a wake up call not only here in the Western world, but perhaps more importantly, to those across the Pacific.