Asian equities fell on Wednesday as geopolitical tensions in the Korean Peninsula continued to weigh on investors actions and the decline in U.S futures after the labor day holiday put another pressure on the Asian markets.
Tensions on the Korean Peninsula continued to bubble, with a North Korean diplomat threatening that the country could deliver "gift packages" to the U.S. if the latter continues to put pressure on Pyongyang. South Korea has said further missile tests could be expected from North Korea following its last nuclear test on Sunday.
Moreover, markets are analyzing Fed Governor Lael Brainard’s comments that the Federal Reserve had to be cautious in regard his policy decisions as the U.S inflation rate is still below the central’s bank target level.
Furthermore, the Korean Kospi index ended in the red for the fifth consecutive session closing down 0.29 percent at 2,319.82.
Elsewhere in China, The Hang Seng Index was down 0.64 percent. The Shanghai Composite tacked on 0.05 percent at 3,385.8765, and the Shenzhen Composite gained 0.375 percent to end at 1,979.5340.
Japan Stock Market (Nikkei 225)
Japan’s Nikkei 225 ended Wednesday’s trading session in the red declining 0.14 percent to close at 19,357.97, pressured by the losses in the financials and automakers sectors.
In the currency market, the Japanese Yen advanced versus the greenback for two consecutive sessions, marking the Japanese currency biggest gain versus the dollar in three months, the Yen found support from increased demand for safe-haven assets due to increased geopolitical tension in the Korean peninsula. The USD/JPY tumbled by 0.83 percent to settle at 108.80 at the close.
Looking at the stock specific news, the sale of Toshiba's memory chip business returned to the attention after Western Digital offered to leave a consortium in talks to buy the unit from Toshiba. Toshiba shares advanced 4.81 percent.
Australian Stock Market (ASX 200)
Meanwhile down under in Australia, Aussie stocks declined in today’s session pushed down by the drop in the financials sector which fell 1.19 percent. The S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.29 percent to finish at 5,689.7.
In economic news, Australia second-quarter GDP rose 1.8 percent compared to the previous year, a little below a Reuters poll forecasting a 1.9 percent increase. The Australian dollar edged down to trade at $0.7998 from levels around $0.8017 after the release of GDP data.
Looking at individual shares, the big four banks put pressure on the main index, following a weak lead from Wall Street, which continued trading after a long weekend. ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, and Westpac were all down by around 0.8 per cent, while National Australia Bank was 0.5 per cent weaker.
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