September 21, 2021

Asia-Pacific stocks fall; China’s retail sales, industrial production data for August ahead

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were lower in Wednesday morning trade following losses overnight on Wall Street, with investors awaiting the release of Chinese economic data.

Mainland Chinese stocks fell, with the Shanghai composite down 0.21% while the Shenzhen component shed 0.5%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dropped 0.76%.

Chinese economic data, including retail sales and industrial production for August, is set to be released at 10:00 a.m. HK/SIN on Wednesday.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan declined 0.81% while the Topix index slipped 1.17%. South Korea’s Kospi sat below the flatline.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.49%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.53% lower.

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Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 292.06 points to 34,577.57 while the S&P 500 declined 0.57% to 4,443.05. The Nasdaq Composite shed 0.45% to 15,037.76. The losses stateside came despite an inflation reading for August that was weaker than expected.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.635 following its recent decline from levels above 92.7.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.57 per dollar, having strengthened yesterday from around 110.1 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7314, still struggling to recover after last week’s decline from above $0.74.

Oil prices were higher in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.61% to $74.05 per barrel. U.S. crude futures advanced 0.64% to $70.91 per barrel.