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Asian Markets Fall, Led by EWA: Australia Stays Open to Rate Cut

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Australian dollar falls sharply as central bank gives dovish statement

The RBA (Reserve Bank of Australia) induced a sell-off in the Australian dollar when it kept the door open for rate cuts in the future. The central bank acknowledged that inflation rates are still below the target level and it might ease the monetary policy if deflationary concerns remain.

However, further decisions on interest rates will depend on upcoming data releases. The iShares MSCI Australia (EWA) and the Vanguard FTSE Pacific ETF (VPL) ended on a lower note by 1.3% and 0.88%, respectively, on July 19.

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Unemployment rate remains high in Hong Kong

The unemployment rate in Hong Kong remained unchanged at 3.4% in the second quarter. But it was at the highest level since 2013. Underemployment remained constant at 1.4% in the same period.

The recent political turmoil in Hong Kong is also expected to affect its credit rating, similar to what happened recently in the United Kingdom. The housing market also continues to follow a downward trend in Hong Kong. The iShares MSCI Hong Kong (EWH) was trading lower by 0.39% on July 19.

Producer prices fall in South Korea by 2.7%

Producer prices in South Korea declined by 2.7% on an annual basis in June against a fall of 3% in the previous month. On a monthly basis, producer prices in South Korea rose by 0.2% in June against a rise of 0.1% in May.

The iShares MSCI South Korea Capped (EWY) and the broad-based iShares MSCI All Country Asia ex Japan (AAXJ) were trading lower by 1.1% and 0.91%, respectively, on July 19.

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