Asian shares tick higher despite soft data

HONG KONG :Asian markets were mostly higher Thursday, tracking positive cues from Wall Street as traders shrugged off a slew of soft data including a weaker-than-expected report on retail sales in the world’s largest economy.

Tokyo and Sydney rose 0.60 percent, while Hong Kong and Shanghai traded flat.

Seoul added 0.19 percent after South Korea’s central bank cut interest rates for the first time in 15 months, under growing government pressure including warnings of recession from the new finance minister.

The rise came after solid gains on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average on Wednesday finished up 0.55 percent at 16,651.80, with investors discounting a lacklustre US retail sales report.

Retail sales were virtually unchanged in July from the prior month and, excluding the auto mobile sector, edged up just 0.1 percent, the Commerce Department said.

The report was weaker than analysts expected, and highlighted the fragile state of the US economy where wage growth is minimal and unemployment, though easing, remains high.

Source : APP