Sun, May 14, 2017 - Page 14 News List

Asian stocks fall from two-year peak on US sales data

Bloomberg

Asian stocks on Friday declined from the highest level in almost two years on concern about the appetite of US consumers to keep spending.

Consumer discretionary shares led losses on the MSCI Asia Pacific Index as equities retreated from Australia to India.

Worries that Americans continue to hold back from buying goods dragged the S&P 500 Index lower Thursday.

Global equities are trading near a record high amid optimism the US economy can weather higher interest rates.

Weak sales at US department stores underscored rising angst that the biggest part of the US economy is not picking up pace enough to raise growth rates.

While Chinese shares rebounded on Friday, they still posted a fifth week of declines, the worst run this year. The rout has erased more than US$560 billion from the value of equities, making the Shanghai Composite Index the world’s worst performer since the middle of last month.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index rose for a fifth straight day.

The Chinese government has made preparations to support the territory’s stock market if needed to create a positive atmosphere before July 1, when Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) is expected to visit for the first time as president to mark 20 years of Chinese rule.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped 0.3 percent, retreating from a 23-month high on Thursday and paring its gain for the week to 1.3 percent.

Japan’s TOPIX fell 0.5 percent after reaching the highest level since December 2015 in the previous session. The gauge is up 1.8 percent for the week.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index retreated 0.8 percent and South Korea’s KOSPI dropped 0.4 percent after closing Thursday at an all-time high.

The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.8 percent, paring its weekly loss to 0.5 percent.

TAIEX

The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange lost 14.66 points, or 0.15 percent, to close at 9,986.82. The TAIEX gained 0.9 percent from last week’s 9,899.94 points.

Additional reporting by CNA

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