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EWJ Trades Positive despite Continued Drop in Retail Sales

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Japanese retail sales drop for the third straight month

Retail sales in Japan fell 1.9% on an annual basis in May—compared to a 0.9% drop in the previous month. Market consensus stood at a decline of 1.6%. It was the sixth decline in Japanese retail sales in the last seven months and the fastest fall since March 2015. On a monthly basis, retail sales growth was flat in May—in line with expectations following a decrease of 0.1% in April. The iShares MSCI Japan ETF (EWJ) rose by 1.3% on June 29.

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Korean business confidence remains unchanged

Business confidence in South Korea remained unchanged at 71 in June—the same level as the previous month. There were ongoing worries among businesses regarding shipbuilders and shipping firms’ restructuring. While the iShares MSCI South Korea Capped ETF (EWY) was seen rising by 2.2%, the iShares MSCI All Country Asia ex Japan ETF (AAXJ) rose by 1.9% on June 29.

New home sales drop in Australia

New home sales in Australia fell by 4.4% on a monthly basis in May—compared to a 4.7% drop in the previous month. While sales of detached homes declined, apartment sales rose. The iShares MSCI Australia ETF (EWA) was trading higher by 1.2%, while the Vanguard FTSE Pacific ETF (VPL) was trading higher by 1.3% on June 29.

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