Investing.com - Asian stocks were lower on Friday with the
Nikkei also down in thin trading despite robust economic data
coming from Japan.
Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry reported on
Friday that industrial production in January rose 4% against an
expectation of 3%. In December it rose by 0.9%. Year-on-year retail
sales rose 4.4% in January against a forecast of a 3.8% rise and
the previous increase of 2.6%.
Japan's Statistics Bureau also reported on Friday that
year-on-year Tokyo core CPI rose 0.9% in January against a forecast
of 0.8% and a previous figure of 0.7%. Year-on-year Tokyo CPI also
rose 1.1% in comparison to 0.7% rise a year earlier.
Japan also said that year-on-year household spending rose by
1.1% against a forecast of a 0.2% rise and a 0.7% rise a year
Electronics and camera maker Nikon rose 0.9% while Nabtesco was
up 1.7% during Friday trading.
Japan's Nikkei fell 0.51%, while the Shanghai Composite index
was down 0.95% on currency turmoil and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index
Meanwhile on Thursday U.S. stocks climbed higher after Federal
Reserve Chair Janet Yellen suggested harsh winter weather may have
been the reason behind a string of disappointing economic
indicators this year.
At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
rose 0.46%, the S&P 500 index rose 0.49%, while the Nasdaq
Composite index rose 0.63%.
Recent manufacturing, unemployment and other economic indicators
have come in short of Wall Street expectations, leaving investors
unclear if recovery has hit a soft patch or if a string of winter
storms has put commerce temporarily on hold.
Speaking before the Senate banking committee, Yellen told
lawmakers it was hard to say how much the recent soft data was due
to rough winter weather and added that the bank would remain
attentive to signals on whether the recovery is progressing in line
Stock market investors concluded that monetary authorities do
believe winter storms have bruised economic indicators somewhat,
and that when spring arrives in a matter of weeks, recovery will
pick up and improve corporate fundamentals in the process.
Elsewhere, the Labor Department said the number of people filing
for initial jobless benefits rose by 14,000 to 348,000 from the
previous week's total of 334,000. Analysts had expected an increase
of just 1,000.
Also on Thursday, the Commerce Department reported that U.S.
durable goods orders declined by a seasonally adjusted 1% last
month, less than expectations for a 1.5% drop.
Core durable goods orders, excluding volatile transportation
items, rose 1.1% in January, the largest increase since May,
confounding forecasts for a 0.3% decline.
On Friday, the U.S. is to released revised data on
fourth-quarter growth, a report on manufacturing activity in the
Chicago region, revised data on consumer sentiment and
private-sector data on pending home sales.
offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial
Read more News on Investing.com and download the new
Investing.com Stocks & Forex App