Asian stock exchanges have ended a gloomy week in negative territory. In late Friday trading, the downtrend gained momentum again. The top concern remains the blazing North Korean crisis. Today, North Korea celebrates the anniversary of the state formation, and experts are waiting for the next launch of the ballistic missile. In addition, there is an unpredictable damage caused by Hurricane Irma and the severe earthquake off the Pacific coast of Mexico. Investors also took into account economic reports from the region.
Traders also weigh the ECB’s monetary policy decision and comments by regulator Mario Draghi. Following the meeting, the central bank kept the benchmark interest rate at a record low of 0% and declared plan to decide about the future of the QE program in the coming month.
The Japanese lead index Nikkei 225 slipped by 0.63 percent to 19 274.82 points up to the close of trading. In the week as a whole it lost more than 2 percent. No other market lost that much. This was due to the sharp rise in the yen, which many investors regard as a “safe haven”. However, a strong yen makes exports more difficult. Japan’s economy was not as strong in the spring as it initially assumed, as recent data showed.
Japan’s GDP growth in the second quarter of 2017, according to the second estimate, was 0.6% in quarterly terms, slowing down compared to the revised first quarter index of 1%, as previously reported by the government on Friday. Experts expected growth at the level of 0.7%. In annual terms, the country’s GDP in April-June showed an increase of 2.5% while experts predicted an increase of 2.9%.
The Chinese CSI 300 Index, which represents the 300 largest stocks on the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges, fell by 0.31 percent to 3817.87 points in late trading. In the midst of the further intensifying trade conflict with the USA, China’s export engine stalled stronger than expected in August. On weekdays the CSI, however, hardly lost.
The South Korean Kospi showed little change on Friday and showed a slight decrease of 0.59 percent for the week. The exchanges in Hong Kong and Sydney closed Friday higher, however, their weekly decline was 1 percent.