Asian stocks are mixed as investors examine US data

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Asian stocks were mixed on Friday after a mishmash of economic data led Wall Street to close mostly lower.

Benchmarks rose in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul but fell in Shanghai and Sydney.

Across the region, concerns over the protracted coronavirus outbreak weighed on sentiment.

“Overall, the mood remains a bit gloomy in the markets, with investors torn between the ‘buy down’ approach that has worked so well in the past and the growing list of economic and market risks that have worked so well in the past. are increasingly evident, ”Oanda’s Craig Erlam said in a comment.

In Japan, stocks are trading near three-decade highs in anticipation of a leadership change after Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga withdrew from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party leadership race.

Suga’s supportive notes had languished amid widespread public discontent with his administration’s response to the pandemic.

PLD lawmakers and grassroots members will vote on September 29, with a parliamentary election slated for next month.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index rose 0.6% to 30,500.05. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong rebounded from losses earlier in the week to gain 0.2% to 24,723.57. The Kospi in Seoul advanced 0.1% to 3,132.76.

The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.3% to 3,595.24, while the S & P / ASX 200 in Sydney lost 0.8% to 7,399.90.

On Thursday, the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average each lost around 0.2%, while the highly technological Nasdaq managed to achieve a gain of 0.1%.

The market rose slightly at first after a surprisingly good retail sales report for August, but then fell back.

Markets were choppy as investors moved money between various sectors while analyzing the data for clues about the direction the economy is heading and the Federal Reserve’s reaction.

The central bank will meet next week, and investors will listen intently to any commentary on the timing and extent of the decline in support for low interest rates that have helped fuel equity gains throughout the year.

The S&P 500 lost 6.95 points to 4,473.75. It stands at 1.4% of the all-time high established on September 2. The Dow Jones lost 63.07 points to 34,751.32, while the Nasdaq added 20.39 points to 15,181.92.

Small business stocks also lost ground. The Russell 2000 Index slipped 0.1% to 2,232.91.

The Commerce Department said retail sales rose 0.7% last month. Economists had expected a 0.85% contraction, believing that spending would have declined as the highly contagious delta variant of COVID-19 prompts consumers to withdraw from their purchases.

Wall Street also weighed in on a disappointing report showing that weekly jobless claims rose more than expected.

The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 1.34% from 1.30% on Wednesday night.

In other exchanges, US benchmark crude oil fell 23 cents to US $ 72.38 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It remained unchanged overnight at $ 72.61 per barrel.

Brent crude, the standard for international prices, fell 22 cents to $ 75.45 a barrel.

The dollar rose to 109.88 Japanese yen from 109.81 yen on Thursday night. The euro climbed to $ 1.1773 from $ 1.1761.

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AP Business Writers Damian J. Troise and Alex Veiga contributed.


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