Investing.com - Asian stocks were mixed to lower on Friday after
U.S. economic indicators stirred fears the world's largest economy
is facing building headwinds that are slowing recovery.
Hawkish comments from Federal Reserve officials also pushed Asian
shares lower as well.
During Asian trading on Friday, Australia's S&P/ASX200 was up
0.21%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 Index was down 0.27%. Hong Kong
markets were closed on holiday.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia reported earlier that its
manufacturing index fell to -5.2 in May from 1.3 in April.
Analysts were expecting the index to improve to a reading of 2.4 in
The Department of Labor said earlier Thursday that the number of
individuals filing for initial unemployment assistance in the U.S.
rose by 32,000 to 360,000 last week, well above expectations for an
increase of 2,000 to 330,000.
Soft U.S. inflation data chipped into stock prices in Asia as well.
The country's consumer price index fell 0.4% in April from March,
worse than expectations for a 0.2% decline, down for the second
Year-on-year inflation rates in the U.S. came to 1.1%, just shy of
market expectations for a 1.3% reading and well below the Federal
Reserve's 2% target.
Meanwhile in the housing sector, the Commerce Department said the
number of building permits issued in the U.S. rose 14.3% to 1.017
million units in April, well above expectations for a 6.2% increase
to 945,000 units.
U.S. housing starts fell by 16.5% last month to 853,000 units,
outpacing expectations for a decline of 4.9% to 973,000.
Weak data in the U.S. often pushes global stock prices up by
stoking sentiments the Fed will keep stimulus measures in place,
especially its USD85 billion monthly bond-buying program, which
floods the economy with cheap dollars, which weakens the greenback
and keeps borrowing costs low, making stocks worldwide an
However, in the U.S. earlier, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
President John Williams suggested that despite disappointing
economic indicators in the U.S., monetary authorities may begin to
scale back stimulus policies later this year.
Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser, a known inflation hawk,
added separately that the Fed should even consider scaling back the
programs next month.
Meanwhile in Japan, the Economic and Social Research Institute
reported that the country's core machinery orders rose 14.2% in
March, the largest monthly pickup in eight years.
Analysts had expected Japan's core machinery orders to rise 2.8% in
In Australia, top gainers included Aquila Resources, up 6.57%, and
Imdex, up 6.21%, and Energy World Corporation, up 5.13%
In Australia, top decliners included WorleyParsons down 10.77%,
Gryphon Minerals, down 8.70%, Kingsgate Consolidated, down 5.46%.
European stock futures indicated a higher opening.
France's CAC 40 futures pointed to a gain of 0.10%, while Germany's
DAX 30 futures pointed to a gain of 0.07%. Meanwhile in the U.K.,
FTSE 100 futures were up 0.09%.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 0.17%, while the
S&P 500 futures were up 0.15%.
offers an extensive set of professional tools for the Forex,
Commodities, Futures and the Stock Market including real-time data
streaming, a comprehensive economic calendar, as well as financial
news and technical & fundamental analysis by in-house experts.
Read more News on Investing.com or Follow us on Twitter at @