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Tokyo stocks down at break on weak China data

 

Tokyo / AFP

Tokyo stocks reversed early gains on Thursday morning as exporters were hit by a rush into the yen after China released worse-than-forecast trade data that fuelled worries about the economic giant.
Traders kicked the day off on a bright note as minutes from the Federal Reserve’s September meeting suggested the central bank will hike US interest rates by December, a plus for the dollar.
But figures out of Beijing showing September exports plummeted 10 percent from a year ago shook nervous investors, sending them rushing for safer investments such as the yen. A rise in the Japanese unit hits profits at the nation’s exporters.
In forex markets, dollar slipped to 103.40 yen after the release, from 104.57 yen earlier Thursday.
“It seems to be a mixture of reasons,” Daiwa Securities analyst Takuya Takahashi told Bloomberg News.
“The yen was slightly strengthening when the yuan became weaker, and then the Chinese trade data was in focus, with exports decreasing instead of increasing.”

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