Investing.com - Asian stocks largely fell on Thursday as markets
awaited economic data from the U.S. and China.
Retail sales figures from the U.S. are expected later today and
Chinese inflation data is due on Friday.
In Japan, Toyota Motor Corp. fell 0.7% after the news of it
recalling 1.9 million of Prius hybrid cars to fix faulty software.
Food and drinks company Asahi Group Holdings dropped 5% after it
said that its profits will be lower than earlier forecasts.
Stocks in Australia were still higher despite poor job data and
Australian Bureau of Statistics reported on Thursday that
country's unemployment rate in January rose to 6% against an
expectation of 5.8%, as it stood in December.
The number of people employed in Australia fell by 3,700 against
a forecast of an increase of 15,000. In the previous month they
fell by 23,000. The full time employment in January fell by 7,100
against the fall of 32,100 in December. The participation rate
however remained unchanged at 64.5% against the expectation of
64.6%. The news made AUD/USD to fall 0.94%
Australia's largest telecom company Telstra Corp. rose 0.6% on a
9% rise in first half profit and a higher number of smartphone
Nikkei fell 1.17%, Shanghai rose 0.08% Hang Seng fell 0.21% and
S&P was up 0.04%.
On Wednesday the profit taking sent U.S. stocks closing mixed to
lower after investors locked in gains stemming from Federal Reserve
Chair Janet Yellen's Tuesday reassurance that policy will remain
accommodative and sold for profits.
At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
fell 0.19%, the S&P 500 index fell 0.03%, while the Nasdaq
Composite index rose 0.24%.
Speaking before the House Financial Services Committee on
Tuesday, Fed Chair Yellen suggested that the central bank would
taper the pace of its asset purchases if the recovery continues,
though softness in the labor market will likely result in a very
gradual dismantling of bond purchases.
Stocks rallied on Tuesday but by Wednesday, investors sold for
Also on Wednesday, consumer products giant Procter & Gamble
cut its sales and profit forecasts for 2014, which spooked
investors somewhat and bruised the Dow Jones Industrial
Leading Dow Jones Industrial Average performers included
Caterpillar, up 1.27%, Microsoft, up 0.79%, and Home Depot, up
The Dow Jones Industrial Average's worst performers included
Procter & Gamble, down 1.73%, Boeing, down 1.57%, and Chevron,
On Thursday, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is to testify on
the bank's semiannual monetary policy report before the House
Financial Services Committee, in Washington.
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