Asian stock markets were mostly down on Thursday. Investors processed the price losses on Wall Street. Inflation fears were also fueled by a further rise in oil prices. A stronger than expected increase in Chinese exports provided some support to trade.
In addition, the interest rate decision of the European Central Bank, which will be announced later in the day, was also looked forward to.
China’s exports rose by 16.9 percent last month thanks to the relaxation of the strict corona measures in the country. In particular, the strict lockdown in the important port city of Shanghai has caused problems in the supply chain in recent months. As a result, export growth was only 3.9 percent in April. Economists had expected an 8 percent increase in exports for May. Imports were also higher than expected with a growth of 4.1 percent.
The Shanghai stock exchange nevertheless recorded a 1 percent decline in the interim and the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong lost 0.9 percent. The positive news about export growth was overshadowed by reports that part of Shanghai is going back into lockdown. The All Ordinaries in Sydney fell 1.2 percent and the Kospi in Seoul dropped 0.5 percent.
The Nikkei in Tokyo finished a fraction higher at 28,246.53 points. Japanese retail company Fast Retailing and tech investor SoftBank, two heavyweights in the Nikkei, rose to 1.8 percent. In addition, export companies continued to benefit from a cheaper Japanese yen, which makes their products cheaper abroad.