Asian shares hit by currency concerns

Asian markets have been weighted down by jitters over the impact of China’s yuan devaluation and a fall in oil prices.

The AFP reported that Asian markets mainly fell on Friday, while Shanghai rose on hopes for more market intervention.

The dollar dipped after advancing on solid United States retail figures, which fuelled expectations the Federal Reserve will raise rates soon, while the euro fell on weak EU growth data.

Tokyo ended down 0.37 percent, or 76.10 points, at 20,519.45 and Sydney lost 0.58 percent, or 31.37 points, to 5,356.50. Seoul’s financial markets were closed for a public holiday.

Hong Kong fell 0.13 percent, or 27.77 points, to end the day at 23,991.03.

Asian shares fluctuated throughout the day as investors weighed the impact of a surprise devaluation of the yuan by China this week that has roiled global financial markets.

“The yuan devaluation and prospects of an impending rate increase by the Fed have created a very volatile market environment,” Jonathan Ravelas, chief market strategist at Manila-based BDO Unibank, told Bloomberg News.

“That’s made many investors risk adverse.”

But Shanghai bucked the trend with a rise of 0.27 percent, capping its biggest weekly increase in two months, as investors hoped the surprise devaluation of the yuan heralded more economic support from Beijing.

Source : Punch

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