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Nikkei Defies the Rise in Asian Stocks, Hang Seng Gains

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Hang Seng gains

While the Shanghai Composite Index remained flat and the Shenzhen Composite dropped, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index recovered today. The index gained 0.32% after dropping 1.58% on May 23.

On May 23, the iShares MSCI Hong Kong ETF (EWH) fell 0.91%, underperforming the Hang Seng Index. We expect the ETF to drop on May 24 even though US Index Futures are up.

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Nikkei 225 falls

Japan’s Nikkei 225 lost 0.16% on May 24 even as 1,854 shares advanced and 1,627 shares dropped on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The broader TOPIX index stayed flat on the day.

On the economic front, the news was mixed. Japan’s Statistics Bureau released its consumer price index data for April on May 24. The prices rose by 0.9% in April on a year-over-year basis. Over the previous month, the prices rose 0.1%. Goods prices rose higher than services prices. Increased inflation is a good sign for the country, which is battling softer prices and negative interest rates.

Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry released its industrial activity index today. While construction activity picked up in March, the country’s industrial production index fell 0.6 points, leading to the combined index dropping by 0.4 points to 105.6. Analysts were expecting a 0.2-point drop to 105.8.

On May 23, the iShares MSCI Japan ETF (EWJ) gained 1.55%. The JPMorgan BetaBuilders Japan ETF (BBJP) gained 1.4% on May 23, while the WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity ETF (DXJ) gained 1.49% on May 23.

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