On Friday, Asian stocks headed south as market participants mostly held fire ahead of clues from Janet Yellen, Fed Chair.
The S&P/ASX 200 tumbled 0.1%, South Korean Kospi lost 0.4%, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index acquired 0.6%. As for the Shanghai Composite index, it edged up by 0.1%.
Fed Chair is expected to speak later in the global trading day at the Jackson Hole meeting of key bankers.
In Japan, the Nikkei Stock Average slumped 0.9%, with insurance and automobile shares affected by expectations that Fed Chair would deliver downbeat news regarding the American economy. There’s no doubt it would push down bond profits and weaken the greenback.
Lower yields diminish insurers’ returns, while a weakening greenback pushes the Japanese yen higher, thus hurting Japan’s export competitiveness.
Toyota Motor tumbled 3%, Honda Motor lost 2.5%, while Nissan Motor sank 1%.
Financial experts find a December rate hike quite probable.
FTSE 100 tumbles, though miners find relief
British shares headed south, set to round off the trading week with a loss, as market participants waited for an update on Britain’s economic growth as well as a closely watched speech from Yanet Yellen, Fed Chair.
The FTSE 100 dropped 0.2%, being worth 6,802.00, with healthcare as well as consumer goods among the dropping sectors. As for miners, they traded higher after staying under pressure this week. The London benchmark has found itself on track to sink 0.6% for the week - a second straight weekly loss.
On Thursday, the index sagged 0.3%, weighed by those losses for drug makers and miners.
However, on Friday, BAE Systems PLC managed to top the FTSE 100. Shares grew 1.2% as the defense company’s rating was upgraded to purchase from hold at Berenberg.
Friday’s trading session will see the issue of a second reading of the UK’s GDP for the second quarter.
Ahead of the British GDP publication, in New York, the sterling rose $1.3217 from $1.3175 late on Thursday.