Oil prices went down, green still dominated Asian stocks

Most of the major stock indexes of the Asia-Pacific region closed on February 19 in the green, although Wall Street last night had “red floor” movements.

The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.57% to 3,696.17 points on the February 19 trading day. Photo: AFP

Japanese stocks today closed in the red on February 19 as both major indices declined. The Nikkei 225 at the end of the trading day fell 0.72% to 30,017.92 points, while the Topix index lost 0.67% to 1,928.95 points.

Japan’s consumer price index (CPI) in January decreased by 0.6% year-on-year, according to data released by the Statistics Office of Japan today. With this result, Japan CPI marked the sixth consecutive month of decline, Reuters reported.

Mainland Chinese stock markets rose today. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.57% to 3,696.17 points, while the Shenzhen Component edged up 0.35% to 15,823.11. On the Hong Kong market, the Hang Seng Index increased slightly, up to the end of the day trading hours.

South Korea’s Kospi Index closed up 0.68% to 3,107.62 points today. While Australia’s S & P / ASX 200 ended the day down 1.34% to 6,793.80 points. Statistics Australia today announced that retail sales in the country in January rose 0.6% from the previous month, lower than the forecast of 2% increase made by economists with Reuters.

In general, the MSCI Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) was almost flat at 735.01 points.

US stocks last night were red when all three major indices declined. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 119.68 points to close at 31,493.34, while the S&P 500 ended the session down 0.44% to 3,913.97 points, and the Nasdaq Composite slipped. 0.72% to 13,865.36 points.

Movements of “red floor” of the US stock market happened last night after US Department of Labor announced number of unemployed applicants in America last week amounted to 861,000, the highest in a month and surpassed the Dow Jones Company prediction of 773,000.

Oil prices on the Asian market this afternoon fell sharply. Futures prices for Brent crude fell 1.05% to $ 63.26 / barrel while the US crude futures price slipped 1.39% to $ 59.68 / barrel.

On the money market, the US dollar index against other major currencies dropped to 90,504, from over 90.9 recorded earlier this week. Japanese Yen today inched up and converted 105.63 JPY / USD, compared to 106 JPY / USD at the beginning of the week, while the Australian dollar also weakened and changed hands 1 AUD / 0.7791 USD, still in range. The normal range is from 1 AUD for 0.774 – 0.78 USD this week.

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