Asian stock markets closed mostly in the red – focus on U.S. inflation data

Tokyo’s Nikkei closed more than 2% lower at 26,401.25, down 714.86 or -2.64%, as strong U.S. employment data released last week reinforced forecasts that the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) will continue to raise interest rates sharply to curb the heat in the U.S. economy. The losers were Hitachi Construction Machinery Co-6.41%, Hitachi Construction Machinery Co-6.41%, and Nikon Corp.-6.27%. The gainers were Shizuoka Financial Group+4.51%, Takashimaya+3.33%, and Tokyo Gas+3.18%.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 closed at 6,645.00, down 22.80 or -0.34%, and the All Ordinaries closed at 6,844.30, down 27.70 or -0.40%. The losers were EML Payment-6.90%, Pointsbet Holdings-6.64%, and Megaport Ltd-4.91%. The winners were Polynovo+6.02%, Parenti Global Ltd+5.32%, and Orica+4.36%.

South Korea’s Composite Index (KOSPI) closed down almost 2% today at 2,192.07 points, down 40.77 points or -1.83%, as investors sold technology, auto, and other stocks amid concerns about tighter policy and fiscal tightening. The won currency continues to depreciate against the US dollar. The losers were InBioGen Co Ltd-25.75%, Daeho AI-18.69%, and Hanmiglobal-11.78%. The winners were Dynamic Design+29.77%, Hwacheon Machi+18.98%, and Union Materials+14.01%.

China’s Shanghai Composite closed slightly higher at 2,979.79, up 5.65 or +0.19% as investors awaited the release of key economic data this week in China. The best performers were Jones Tech A+19.97%, Shenzhen Vital New Material+15.75%, and Malion New Materials+14.48%. The worst performers were ACM Research Shanghai-16.66%, Piotech-16.44%, and Anji Microelectronics Tech-13.29%.

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong closed down 384.30 points, or -2.23%, at 16,832.36 points, as investors again worried that central banks raising interest rates could plunge many economies into recession. The worst performers were Million Stars-41.38%, S. Culture Ind-33.33%, and Chyy Dev-30%. The best performers were Inves Tech (+48.57%), Xin Yuan Enterprises (+41.10%), and Renaissance Asia Silk Road (+31.82%).

In Thailand, the SET fluctuated within a narrow range in negative territory at 1,562.68, down 7.89 points or -0.50% due to pressure on interest rates and inflation data this week from the U.S., which led to an appreciation of the dollar, the baht depreciated again to 38 baht/dollar. The losers were T. Krungthai Industrial-11.17%, Advance Connection-11.11%, and Indara Insurance-10%. The gainers were S. Pack & Print +29.82%, Sawang Airport +20.91%, and SCI Electric+14.71%.

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