Asian benchmarks were mostly lower on Friday, echoing a decline on Wall Street, after a quarterly report by Japan’s central bank rekindled worries about the world’s third-largest economy.
Shares fell in Taipei, Tokyo, Seoul, Sydney and Shanghai. Markets were closed in Hong Kong for a holiday.
Recent data suggest that global growth is slowing, as countries grapple with renewed waves of COVID-19 outbreaks, soaring prices and the war in Ukraine.
In the Bank of Japan’s Tankan survey, the headline index for large manufacturers was nine, down from 14 in the previous quarter and the second straight quarter of declines.
The Tankan measures corporate sentiment by subtracting the number of companies saying business conditions are negative from those saying they are positive.
While the non-manufacturing indicators fared better, worries are growing because of pressures from a weakening Japanese yen.
The Tankan results might spur criticism over the Bank of Japan’s ultra-loose monetary policy, which is a factor behind the weaker yen, SPI Asset Management managing partner Stephen Innes said.
“The Bank may wait until the Q3 survey is released before stepping away from its ultra-dovish setting,” he said in a report.
In a bit of positive news, a survey by a Chinese business magazine Caixin found that China’s factory activity last month expanded at its strongest rate in 13 months following an easing of COVID-19 restrictions that shut down Shanghai and other industrial centers.
A monthly purchasing managers’ index issued by Caixin rose to 51.7 from 48.1 in May on a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 show activity increasing. New orders rose, while employment declined for a third month.
In Taipei, the TAIEX closed down 482.65 points, or 3.26 percent, at 14,343.08, declining 6.27 percent from a week earlier. Turnover totaled NT$300.098 billion (US$10.09 billion).
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 1.73 percent to close at 25,935.62, down 2.10 percent weekly, while the broader TOPIX dropped 1.38 percent to 1,845.04, down 1.16 percent on the week.
South Korea’s KOSPI lost 1.17 percent to 2,305.42, dropping 2.59 percent from a week earlier, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 edged down 0.43 percent to 6,539.90, posting a weekly decline of 0.59 percent.
The Shanghai Composite fell 0.32 percent to 3,387.64, but posted a weekly increase of 1.13 percent.
India’s SENSEX dropped 0.21 percent to 52,907.93, up 0.34 percent from a week earlier.
Additional reporting by staff writer, with CNA
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