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Asia Markets Nicked By Turkey’s Stress, Oil-price Worries

Nikkei slumps despite upbeat GDP report; Samsung weighs on Kospi

Asian stock markets dropped Friday, the front end of a global retreat as investors moved into the dollar amid fears that ongoing financial instability in Turkey will spread to other markets.

The country’s lira is down 13.3% this week, bringing its year-to-date decline to more than 35%. The ICE U.S. Dollar Index which gauges the dollar against a half-dozen monetary units, surged amid the turmoil , and recently was up 0.6% at 96.039.

Global trade tariff worries also continued to swirl around the region’s markets, while weaker oil prices hit related stock names.

Japan’s Nikkei was off 1.3%, handing it a roughly 1% loss for the week.

Tokyo Electron was down 3.5% and Nintendo was off more than 2%. Inpex dropped 3.9% as Brent crude futures fell to their lowest level in almost a month.

Markets were little moved by Japan’s better-than-expected second-quarter GDP report . Yields for 10-year Japanese government bonds eased to around 0.105%.

South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.9%, hit by weakness in Samsung , which was off more than 3% after its new Galaxy Note 9 device was unveiled but won few fans.

After four days of gains, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was off 0.8%. Property stocks rebounded, with CR Land (1109.HK) and Country Garden bouncing more than 1%. But tech was weak, and Tencent fell 0.7%.

As in Hong Kong, Chinese stocks got a lift from rebound in the beaten-down real-estate segment. The broader market extended Thursday’s bounce, with the Shanghai Composite ended just in positive territory and the Shenzhen Composite was up 0.6%. Energy names continued to retreat on weaker oil prices.

Australia’s benchmark index was down 0.3%, as energy stocks continued to sag. Oil Search was down 2.5% and Woodside Petroleum was off 1.2%. Meanwhile, there was nothing in the Friday’s policy/forecast report from the Reserve Bank of Australia to suggest it’s getting closer to raising interest rates.

Stocks in New Zealand were up slightly after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand took a dovish stand on rates the day before, pushing back its rate-hike forecasts by a full year to 2020.

Malaysian stocks gained 0.2%, having risen in 22 of the past 25 days. Singapore’s Strait Times Index , which was closed Thursday for a holiday, dove more than 1%, and Taiwan’s Taiex slipped 0.4%.

Source: Dow Jones

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