Wednesday, August 29, 2012

asian stock market august 30, 2012

asian stock market august 30, 2012, Japanese retail sales report 8/30/2012 : Asian stocks were lower after Japanese retail sales for July came in weaker than expected, while investors sold to wait for Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's speech this Friday at the Fed's annual symposium at Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Asian trading on Thursday, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was down 1.39%, Australia's S&P/ASX200 was down 1.09%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index was down 0.76%.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has used the Jackson Hole symposium in the past to telegraph policy moves, most notably, a second round of quantitative easing in 2010.

Under quantitative easing, the Fed buys assets from banks such as Treasury holdings or mortgage-backed securities, pumping the economy full of fresh liquidity to drive down borrowing costs and spur recovery, weakening the dollar and sending global stocks rising in the process.

Strong housing data and upward revisions to U.S. gross domestic product figures, however, sparked new talk that maybe the Fed will hold off with stimulus measures, which sent investors selling stocks and jumping to the sidelines to wait for the symposium to begin.

The Commerce Department revised its second-quarter growth rate up two percentage points to 1.7% from 1.5%, mainly due to stronger consumer spending and exports.

Furthermore, the Federal Reserve's Beige Book released earlier showed that while manufacturing continues to face some headwinds, the economy continues to recover.

The U.S. will unveil official data on personal consumption expenditures and personal spending later Thursday, and the GDP revisions and Beige Book stoked sentiments the data may surprise for the better and put expectations of stimulus measure to rest.

Housing data surprised on the upside earlier as well.

The National Association of Realtors said its index of pending home sales index rose 2.4% in July, far outpacing expectations for a 1.0% increase.

Year-on-year, pending home sales rose 15.0% in July, beating out market calls for an 11.1% increase, after rising by 8.4% in June.

The data came about a day in the footsteps of bullish home pricing data.

The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index released Tuesday showed a gain of 0.5% from June 2011, the first annual increase since 2010.

Analysts were expecting the figure to contract 0.1%.

Meanwhile in Japan, retail sales fell more than expected last month.

The Japanese Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry reported that retail sales fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of -0.8%, from 0.2% in the preceding month.

Analysts had expected retail sales to fall at annual rate of -0.2% last month.
The news further fueled the equities selloff.

In Hong Kong, top decliners included Sino Land, down 3.45%, CITIC Pacific, down 2.91%, and Hang Lung Properties, down 2.50%.

In Australia, top decliners included Boart Longyear Ltd., down 32.77% due to a cautious earnings outlook, FKP Property Group, down 28.95% also due to a cautionary earnings outlook, and Macmahon Holdings down 7.58%.

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