Asia’s stock markets have seen plenty of wild swings in recent years – from China’s shock selloff in 2015 to the taper tantrum that rocked Southeast Asian shares in 2013. Such fluctuations have all but disappeared this year amid a global phenomenon of vanishing volatility.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index’s volatility in the last 60 trading days has dropped below 6 percent to the lowest since Bloomberg started compiling the data in 1988. The stock measure hasn’t moved more than 0.22 percent on a daily closing basis for the past seven days, while the last time it rose or fell at least 1 percent was in June.
China is no longer a cause for concern as regulators keep a tight grip on speculation and the economy picks up, while Japan just posted a record winning streak. The prospect of another U.S. rate hike this year, a thought that in previous years caused major palpitations, is being greeted with a yawn after countries from Thailand to Indonesia built sizable foreign reserves. Investors can’t even break a sweat over missile launches and hydrogen bomb tests by Kim Jong Un: South Korea’s Kospi index is at a record high.