The US dollar weakened, Japanese auto stocks slipped

Asia-Pacific stocks recorded mixed fluctuations at the end of the trading day 18/11 when investors remained cautious about the increasing Covid-19 infection.

Japanese stocks still fell on November 18 trading day although the country’s export turnover in October was better than expected. Photo: AFP

Mainland Chinese stock markets also fluctuated in a mixed fashion on November 18 trading. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.22% to 3,347.30 points while the Shenzhen Component slipped 0.54% to 13,658.20 points. The green ink on Hong Kong market maintained until the end of the session when the Hang Seng Index edged up 0.25%.

Japanese stocks are still in red although the country’s export turnover in October exceeded expectations. The Nikkei 225 still lost 1.10% and closed at 25,728.14 points, while Topix slipped 0.81% to 1,720.65.

According to the Ministry of Finance of Japan, the country’s exports in October decreased by 0.2%, instead of falling 4.5% as economists forecasted with Reuters earlier. In September, Japan’s exports decreased by 4.9%.

The Reuters news agency reported that Japanese exports in October were revived by demand of China and America about Japanese cars soared, causing a sharp increase in Japanese auto exports.

Although car exports have increased, shares of carmakers have declined across the board. Shares of Mitsubishi Motor slid nearly 5% while shares of Honda and Toyota lost 3.78% and 1.61%, respectively.

Shares of SoftBank technology group (Japan) fell 0.91% after CEO SoftBank Masayoshi Son said he had aggressively sold his assets this year in preparation for “worst case scenario” as the world reestablished the blockade during the second Covid-19 outbreak.

In contrast, the Korean stock market flourished with the Kospi index up 0.26% and closed the day with 2,545.64 points. Australia’s S & P / ASX 200 Index recorded an increase of 0.51% to 6,531.10 points. Overall, the MSCI Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) still rose 0.42%.

According to Reuters, information worth noting investment in the Asian market is the Foxconn Technology Group of Taiwan inaugurated a screen production factory worth 26 million USD in northern Vietnam. After this information, Foxconn shares today rose nearly 1%.

US stocks last night “red fire” when the market cooled down gradually. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 167.09 points, or 0.6%, to 29,783.35 points. The S&P 500 fell 0.5% to 3,609.53 points while the Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.2% to 11,899.34.

“The US stock market last night was quiet due to the increase in the number of Covid-19 cases that undermined the long-term positive outlook that Covid-19 resistance vaccine results had. Consumer confidence is weakening and retail spending is also declining, ”commented Rahul Khare, research expert at ANZ.

Earlier this week, Wall Street stocks continued to hit a new milestone after the Moderna biotechnology company and the pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced more optimistic than expected Covid-19 resistance vaccine test results. However, the continued increase in the number of Covid-19 infections in the US has reduced optimism about the results of vaccine trials. CNBC’s analysis based on Johns Hopkins University data shows that the number of new daily Covid-19 infections in the past seven days in the US exceeded 150,000 for the first time on November 16.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell on Nov. 17 warned that the rise in Covid-19 cases is a threat to the US economic recovery that “has a long way to go”.

Furthermore, disappointing US retail sales in October weighed on investor sentiment. According to the US Department of Commerce, the country’s retail sales in October rose only 0.3%, lower than the 0.5% increase that economists forecast with Reuters.

The money market on November 18 saw the greenback weaken. US dollar index against other strong currencies this afternoon fell sharply from 92.6 set at the beginning of the week to 92,278.

Kathy Lien, managing director of forex strategy at BK Asset Management, said that “demand for US dollars will be limited because of concerns about re-imposing restrictions on business activities” . The Japanese yen this afternoon inched up to 103.85 JPY / USD, compared with 104.5 JPY / USD, while the Australian dollar was kept around 1 AUD / 0.7308 USD.

Oil prices in Asian markets on the afternoon of November 18 turned around after the previous decline. Crude oil futures delivery of the US inched up 0.14% to $ 41.49 / barrel, while Brent crude oil futures for delivery rose 0.46% to $ 43.95 / barrel.