October 29, 2020

Asia Pacific stocks fall after Wall Street plunge; Australia’s July retail sales data ahead


Stocks in Asia Pacific fell in Friday morning trade following sharp declines on Wall Street overnight.

South Korean stocks led losses in the region, with the Kospi dropping 2.25% in early trade. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 declined 1.46% while the Topix index shed 1.15%.

Over in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 declined 1.03%.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index traded 0.53% lower.

Investor reaction to overnight moves stateside will be watched. The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 807.77 points, or 2.8%, to 28,292.73 — its biggest one-day decline since June 11. The S&P 500 slid 3.5% to 3,455.06 and the Nasdaq Composite fell by 5% to close at 11,458.10.

“There has been no obvious catalyst for the move,” National Australia Bank’s Rodrigo Catril wrote in a note. “Now the question is whether the correction has legs or whether investors are temped back in.”

On the economic data front, Australia’s retail sales data for July is set to be out at around 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN on Friday. That follows the June quarter gross domestic product figures released earlier this week that showed the country officially entering a recession.

Ahead of that data release, the Australian dollar traded at $0.7258 after yesterday’s fall from above $0.732.

Later Friday stateside, a closely watched U.S. jobs report is also set to be released, with economists polled by Dow Jones expecting the U.S. economy to have added more than 1 million jobs last month.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 92.839 following its bounce this week from levels below 92.

The Japanese yen changed hands at 106.11 per dollar after its weakening yesterday from the 106.5 handle against the greenback.

Here’s a look at what’s on tap:

  • Australia: July retail sales data at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN
  • U.S.: Nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate for August



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