Asia shares mixed af­ter North Korea's lat­est mis­sile launch

Sun.Star Pampanga - - BUSINESS! -

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Ja­pan's bench­mark Nikkei 225 in­dex added 0.6 per­cent to 19,835.30 as the dol­lar re­bounded against the yen, mak­ing shares of ex­porters more at­trac­tive. South Korea's Kospi re­couped ini­tial losses to edge 0.1 per­cent higher to 2,380.84. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was flat at 27,773.79 while the Shang­hai Com­pos­ite in main­land China shed 0.6 per­cent to 3,350.09. Aus­tralia's S&P/ASX 200 sank 0.7 per­cent to 5,698.00. Tai­wan's bench­mark rose and South­east Asian shares were mostly lower.

North Korea launched an in­ter­me­di­ate-range mis­sile that flew 3,700 kilo­me­ters (2,300 miles), set­ting off alarms as it flew over Ja­pan to land in the Pa­cific Ocean. The launch was the lat­est sign of Py­ongyang's will­ing­ness to defy in­ter­na­tional opin­ion as it moves closer to build­ing up a mil­i­tary arse­nal tar­get­ing U.S. forces. Mar­kets fell in early trad­ing but some re­gained their foot­ing later, in a sign the ini­tial shock for in­vestors quickly wore off.

"Another day, another mis­sile from North Korea," said Rob Car­nell, ING's head of Asia re­search. "It would be wrong to say that mar­kets are not tak­ing any no­tice, but the rel­a­tively muted re­sponses of the Ja­panese yen and Korean won and risk as­sets glob­ally, sug­gest that a sense of fa­tigue on this bel­liger­ence is creep­ing in."

In­vestors were also di­gest­ing the first of a batch of U.S. eco­nomic data as they await the Fed's next move on in­ter­est rates. Data re­leased Thurs­day showed U.S. con­sumer prices rose in Au­gust at their fastest pace in seven months, a pos­si­ble sign in­fla­tion is pick­ing up pace. In­dus­trial pro­duc­tion and retail sales fig­ures are due Fri­day, which could pro­vide more hints on whether the Fed, which meets next week, will re­main on track to raise rates by the end of the year.

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