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Asian Stock Markets Close Lower on Economic Worries

Asian stock markets were mostly lower on September 10 as economic data from Japan and China made investors cautious.

After surging almost 8% on September 9, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index closed down 2.5% at 18,299.62, among Asia’s big losers.

Worries about a slowdown China and the impact of a US interest rate hike also dented investors’ confidence.

Analysts said losses were to be expected considering Wednesday’s significant gains – particularly in Japan.

Core machinery orders in Japan, which are a key indicator of capital expenditure, fell by 3.6% in July compared with June.

The renewed decline suggested that business investment may fall yet again this quarter, economists said.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 closed down 2.4% at 5,098.40, following Wall Street lower and after two sessions of gains.

Photo AsiaNews

Photo AsiaNews

The Australian dollar fell together with the New Zealand dollar on Thursday after New Zealand’s central bank cut interest rates to 2.75% and said it may introduce further easing measures to boost its flagging economy.

In China, the benchmark Shanghai Composite ended down 1.4% to 3,197.89, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 2.6% to 21,562.5 points.

Official figures released on September 10 showed China’s consumer price index (CPI) unexpectedly rose to 2% in August from a year ago marking a one-year high.

The rise was due to higher food prices. Pork prices, which weigh heavily on consumer prices in China, rose from 16.7% last year to 19.6% in August.

China’s producer price index (PPI) fell 5.9% – marking its 42nd consecutive month of declines – and the biggest drop since 2009.

The one bright spot in Asia was South Korea’s Kospi which closed up 0.7% to 1,947.30 points.