Asian markets ended Friday’s session in positive notes, as the greenback nursed its wounds after slipping overnight. Markets also digested a raft of data out of Japan.
The dollar was flat after losing steam on Thursday. The dollar had surged on optimism following the release of the GOP's tax reform plans on Wednesday. The plan called for a lower corporate tax rate and would cut the highest individual income tax rate.
Meanwhile, in the greater China, markets ended Friday’s session in green territories. Hong Kong’s leading index Hang Seng advanced by 0.35 percent to trade at 27,554.30. while the Shanghai composite and Shenzhen composite rose 0.29 percent and 0.694 respectively to settle at 3,349.21 and 11,087.19.
Over in South Korea, regulators said on Friday they would ban new initial coin offerings, according to Reuters, adding that the trade in virtual currencies in the country had to be more closely supervised.
Japan Stock Market (Nikkei 225)
Japan’s leading index Nikkei 225 edged down by 0.03 percent to trade at 20,356.28. The index was pressured by moderate losses in automakers and several heavyweight tech stocks.
Regarding specific stock news, Toshiba on Thursday signed an agreement to sell its memory chip unit to a group led by Bain Capital for 2 trillion yen ($18 billion). Still, the saga has yet to conclude: Western Digital, which is involved in a joint venture with the Japanese conglomerate, has sought an injunction to prevent Toshiba from selling the unit. Toshiba stock closed up 2.94 percent, outperforming other tech stocks in Japan.
Regarding economic data, August core consumer prices rose 0.7 percent compared with a year earlier, marking an eighth consecutive month of yearly increases, according to Reuters. Retail sales increased 1.7 percent last month compared with the previous year, missing a median estimate for a 2.6 percent rise, Reuters said.Industrial production data, however, beat forecasts. August figures showed an increase of 2.1 percent compared with the previous month, above the 1.9 percent median forecast, Reuters said.
Australian Stock Market (ASX 200)
The Australian stock market ended Friday’s session in green territory. ASX 200 rose by 0.2 percent to trade at 5,681.6 despite the weakness in the iron ore price
Regarding stock specific news, Ardent Leisure Group closed 0.83 per cent higher at $1.82 after Dr Gary Weiss was announced as incoming chairman, following a battle for control of the Dreamworld owner, and after current chair George Venardos agreed to step aside.
In the banking sector,Commonwealth Bank rose 0.17 per cent higher to $75.25, while Westpac closed 0.65 per cent lower at $31.92. NAB was up 0.10 per cent, closing at $31.50, and ANZ was down 0.50 per cent, at $29.60, at the close.
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