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Hang Seng and Singapore Indexes Drop, while KOSPI and ASX Gain

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May. 31 2019, Published 7:36 a.m. ET

Hang Seng closes lower

Today, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index recorded its third straight loss this week to end 0.79% lower. The index lost 9.4% in May 2019. Yesterday, the iShares MSCI Hong Kong ETF (EWH) lost a massive 1.62%, underperforming the Hang Seng, which reported a 0.45% drop.

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KOSPI

South Korea’s KOSPI was one of the few exceptions today in the otherwise gloomy Asian market. The index posted 0.14% gains today, its second straight day in the green. The index lost 7.3% in May.

On the economic front, the manufacturing production index for April saw a 1.7% increase over March. Markets were expecting the manufacturing production to grow at 0.5% in April over March. On a year-over-year basis, the April manufacturing production index was down 0.2% compared to an expectation of a much larger drop.

South Korean retail sales saw a 1.2% decline on a month-over-month basis in April but a 1.4% increase over April 2018.

The iShares MSCI South Korea Capped ETF (EWY) gained 1.22% yesterday.

ASX and NZ50

Australia’s ASX200 gained marginally today after a two-day fall. The index gained 1.1% in May as surprising election results and expectations of rate cuts ahead lifted equities up.

Yesterday, the iShares MSCI Australia ETF (EWA) gained 0.18% on NYSE Arca. The iShares MSCI ex-Japan ETF (EPP), which has 54% of its portfolio invested in Australia, lost 0.42% yesterday.

New Zealand’s NZ50 gained 0.46% today.

Singapore

Singapore’s Straits Times Index dropped 0.8% today, its fourth straight loss. The index lost 8.31% in May 2019. The iShares MSCI Singapore ETF (EWS) stayed steady yesterday on NYSE Arca.

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