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Asia-Pacific markets experienced declines on Friday as investors assessed Japan’s July inflation data and the ongoing challenges in China’s real estate sector.
In Japan, the core inflation rate fell to 3.1%, down from 3.3% in June, while the headline inflation rate remained at 3.3%. This news weighed on market sentiment.
Meanwhile, China’s troubled real estate giant, Evergrande, filed for bankruptcy protection in a U.S. bankruptcy court under Chapter 15 of the U.S. bankruptcy code, which provides protection for non-U.S. companies undergoing restructuring.
Here’s a summary of market performance:
Japan’s Nikkei 225 declined by 0.55%, ending at 31,450.76, marking four days of losses in the past five sessions. The Topix also closed down by 0.7% at 2,237.29.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 recorded a marginal increase, closing at 7,148.1.
South Korea’s Kospi ended 0.61% lower at 2,504.5, marking a sixth consecutive day of losses.
The Kosdaq lost 0.98% and closed at 877.32.
The market reactions were influenced by concerns about inflation in Japan and Evergrande’s bankruptcy filing in the United States.
Stocks closed Friday’s session with weekly losses, reflecting the ongoing challenges faced by Wall Street in August. Here’s a summary of the major indices’ performance:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 25.83 points, closing roughly 0.07% higher at 34,500.66.
The S&P 500 was down by 0.01%, finishing at 4,369.71.
The Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.2%, ending the session at 13,290.78.
Furthermore, shares of major tech companies, including Meta, Amazon, Microsoft, and Alphabet, continued to decline for the week. Overall, the market struggled throughout August.
Oil prices rose by approximately 1% on Friday due to signs of slowing U.S. output. However, both crude benchmarks ended their longest weekly rally of 2023 amid mounting concerns about global demand growth. Here are the details:
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures increased by 86 cents, or 1.1%, to settle at $81.25 a barrel.
Brent crude futures rose by 68 cents, or 0.8%, to settle at $84.80 a barrel.
The upward momentum on Friday was partly driven by industry data showing a decline in the U.S. oil and natural gas rig count for the sixth consecutive week. A decrease in U.S. production could contribute to anticipated supply constraints for the remainder of the year.
These concerns have been exacerbated by production cuts from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, which have supported oil prices during a seven-week streak of gains since June. Over this period, Brent crude increased by approximately 18%, and WTI gained around 20% by August 11th.
Gold prices were relatively stable on Friday, but the precious metal was on track for its third consecutive weekly decline. This trend was influenced by recent positive economic data in the United States, which increased expectations of prolonged higher interest rates. Here are the details:
Spot gold remained steady at $1,887.79 per ounce by 2:22 p.m. ET (1822 GMT), but it had fallen by 1.4% over the week.
U.S. gold futures settled 0.1% higher at $1,916.5.
The decline in gold prices over the week was driven by growing confidence that the Federal Reserve would maintain higher interest rates for an extended period. A stronger U.S. dollar also had an impact on gold’s performance. However, the dollar weakened slightly on Friday, providing some support to gold as it made the metal more affordable for investors using other currencies.
The above analysis is only for the views of market researchers and is for reference only and is not regarded as a specific investment suggestion.