Asian stocks mixed with eye on economic releases
Asian stock markets were mixed on Friday ahead of more regional economic releases that could point to how the delta variant is affecting growth.
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.1% to 28,042.08. while South Korean Kospi slipped 1.3% to 3,168.08. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong fell 0.6% to 26,357.13.
The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.1% to 3,522.86, while the Sydney S & P-ASX 200 was up 0.5% to 7,622.10. New Zealand’s benchmark surged, while those of Singapore and Indonesia fell.
Japan and Thailand will publish their economic growth for the second quarter next week. While traders won’t “pay much attention to this backdated GDP data,” they will be watching how the delta variant hits the broader growth path, ING analysts said in a report.
China will also release its industrial production and retail figures for July. It comes after the country’s service sector rebounded before a new wave of COVID-19.
“Industrial production will be watched after the release of July trade data, which was seen as resilient but missed consensus,” said Lewis Cooper of IHS Markit.
On Wall Street Thursday, gains by tech and healthcare companies offset a pullback elsewhere in the market.
Traders have worked through a mixed picture of the economic data. The Labor Department said jobless claims fell to 375,000 from 387,000 the week before, another sign the labor market is recovering from the pandemic.
At the same time, wholesale inflation jumped 1% higher than expected in July, matching the rise of the previous month,
The S&P 500 rose 0.3% to 4,460.83, its third consecutive all-time high. Several big tech stocks, including Apple, rose and thwarted weakness in chipmakers, industrial firms and energy companies.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added less than 0.1% to 35,499.85. The blue chip index also set its third record in three days. The tech-rich Nasdaq edged up 0.3% to 14,816.26.
In energy markets, benchmark US crude fell 48 cents to $ 68.61 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the standard for international oil prices, fell 44 cents to $ 70.87 a barrel in London.
The dollar fell to 110.38 yen from 110.42 yen on Thursday. The euro went from $ 1.1738 to $ 1.1740.
AP Business Writers Damian J. Troise and Alex Veiga contributed.