Asian markets mixed after Wall St gains on jobs data

Beijing, Asian stock markets were mixed Friday after Wall Street rose as investors analyzed conflicting economic signals ahead of a Federal Reserve conference next week.

Shanghai, Tokyo and Seoul declined while Hong Kong advanced. Oil prices edged lower but stayed above $90 per barrel, reports AP.

Wall Street rebounded after corporate results and fewer unemployment claims than expected suggested the U.S. economy has pockets of resilience despite repeated interest rate hikes.

Investors worry the Fed and central banks in Europe and Asia might derail global economic growth as they hike rates to cool inflation that is running at multi-decade highs.

The latest U.S. data “might keep the door open for aggressive Fed tightening,” said Edward Moya of Oanda in a report.

The Shanghai Composite Index lost less than 0.1% to 3,274.59 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo shed less than 0.1% to 28,927.32. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong added 0.4% to 19,838.10.

The Kospi in Seoul shed 0.5% to 2,495.03 while Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 lost less than 0.1% to 7,110.40.

India’s Sensex opened down less than 0.1% at 60,258.81. New Zealand, Bangkok and Singapore retreated while Jakarta gained.

Investors looked ahead to the Fed’s annual Jackson Hole conference in Wyoming next week for indications of when and how much the U.S. central bank might raise rates.

Minutes on the Fed’s July meeting released this week said inflation still is too high and made clear the central bank will keep raising interest rates.

The Fed has raised interest rates twice this year by 0.75 percentage points, triple its usual margin. Forecasters expect a hike at the board’s September meeting, but say pressure for a similarly large increase has declined as economic growth cooled.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 rose 0.2% to 4,283.74 after the Labor Department reported fewer Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week.

That followed data Wednesday that showed July retail sales held steady with the previous month despite concern inflation might depress consumers’ willingness to spend.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.1% gain to 33,999.04. The Nasdaq added 0.2% to 12,965.34.

Technology companies gained. Cisco Systems rose 5.8% after reporting solid results. Energy stocks also climbed as U.S. crude oil prices rose. Devon Energy rose 5.9%.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude lost 38 cents to $90.12 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The contract surged $2.39 to $90.50 on Thursday. Brent crude, the price basis for international trading, shed 41 cents to $96.18 per barrel in London. It jumped $2.94 the previous day to $96.59.

The dollar rose to 136.28 yen from Thursday’s 135.91 yen. The euro fell to $1.0078 from $1.0091.

Source: Bahrain News Agency


Curtains come down on fifth Islamic Solidarity Games

Konya, Turkey – The competitions of the fifth edition of the 2022 Islamic Solidarity Games were concluded with amazing closing ceremony that seen a parade of flags of all participating nations and incredible display of Turkish and Islamic culture in Turkish’s city of Konya on Thursday.

This fifth edition of Islamic Solidarity Games were ran from 9th to 18th of August with participation of approximately 4000 athletes from 56 countries.

Team Qatar fielded 112 athletes to compete in 14 group and individual sport disciplines, including basketball, volleyball, handball, cycling, athletics, swimming, shooting, Taekwondo, Judo, Karate, weightlifting, wrestling, fencing and gymnastics.

Team Qatar settled in 13rd place overall standings, after winning a total of 12 medals, including 4 gold, 3 silver and 5 bronze, as Qatar Athletics Federation has the upper hand with 7 medals.

It was the best ever record of medals for Qatar in the Islamic Solidarity Games, the country won four gold medals in this fifth edition to rise its tally to eight gold medals in the history of the Games.

Source: Qatar Olympic Committee