Market Insider

Japan stocks record, Singapore retail sales

People commuting to work in the morning cross a pedestrian crossing in Tokyo on February 15, 2024. 

Kazuhiro Nogi | AFP | Getty Images

Asia-Pacific markets were largely lower on Friday, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 paring gains after crossing the 41,000 mark and hitting fresh record highs.

The Nikkei saw a volatile session and ended the day flat at 40,912.37. The broad-based Topix also faltered from record highs to drop 0.49%, snapping a five-day winning streak and closing at 2,884.18.

Japan’s household spending for May unexpectedly dipped 1.8% in real terms compared to the same period last year. Economists polled by Reuters had estimated a 0.1% rise.

Household spending data is a key metric for the Bank of Japan’s to assess its goal of realizing a “virtuous cycle” of rising wages and prices.

Average spending per household in May was 290,328 yen ($1,799.28), while average monthly income stood at 500,231 yen, up 6.4% in nominal terms and 3% higher in real terms from the previous year.

Investors will also be assessing retail sales numbers out from Singapore later today.

South Korea’s Kospi was 1.32% higher at 2,862.23, and the small-cap Kosdaq rose 0.79% to end at 847.49.

Heavyweight Samsung Electronics on Friday estimated that its second quarter operating profit will surge almost 15-fold, mainly due to a rebound in semiconductor prices on the back of the artificial intelligence boom.

Samsung shares climbed 2.96%, hitting their highest level since January 2021.

Hong Kong Hang Seng index dropped 1.13% as of its final hour of trade, while mainland China’s CSI 300 was down 0.43%to close at 3,431.06, falling to its lowest closing level in almost five months.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 dipped 0.12% and closed at 7,822.3.

Overnight in the U.S., markets were closed for the Independence Day holiday, but futures were little changed ahead of Friday’s trading session.

Nasdaq 100 futures were down 0.1%, while S&P 500 futures were trading marginally below the flatline. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were 0.05% up.

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