Asia-Pacific stocks mixed after mixed U.S. economic data

  • Asia-Pacific stocks were mixed in Friday morning trade.
  • Investors will watch market moves in Hong Kong. The benchmark has dropped nearly 6% so far this week amid regulatory concerns surrounding sectors such as technology and casinos.
  • U.S. retail sales data released Thursday rose unexpectedly while first-time jobless claims last week came in higher than expected.

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Friday morning trade as investors react to mixed U.S. economic data released overnight.

The in Japan climbed 0.38% while the Topix index traded fractionally higher. South Korea's Kospi shed 0.22%.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.38%.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.13% lower.

Investors will watch market moves in Hong Kong. The benchmark has dropped nearly 6% so far this week amid regulatory concerns surrounding sectors such as technology and casinos.

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Overnight stateside, the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 63.07 points to 34,751.32 while the S&P 500 dipped around 0.16% to 4,473.75. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.13% to 15,181.92.

The moves on Wall Street came after the Census Bureau reported Thursday that August's retail sales increased 0.7% the month against the Dow Jones estimate of a decline of 0.8%. The initial estimate for July, however, was revised down to a decline of nearly 2% from a month-over-month gain of 0.5%.

Meanwhile, the latest unemployment insurance weekly data showed 332,000 first-time jobless claims last week, higher than the Dow Jones estimate of 320,000.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of peers was at 92.871 following a recent jump from below 92.6.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.66 per dollar, stronger than levels above 110 seen against the greenback earlier this week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7291, struggling to recover after slipping from above $0.735 earlier in the week.

Oil prices were mildly lower in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures sitting below the flatline, trading at $75.64 per barrel. U.S. crude futures shed about 0.1% to $72.56 per barrel.

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