US stocks spent much of the day in the red due to fears that Beijing’s devaluation of the yuan signals that China’s economy is weaker than thought.
“They’re taking the Chinese central bank at its word, but I’m still taking those comments with a pinch of salt”, said Hantec Markets analyst Richard Perry.
The U.S. dollar gained some respite and edged up about 0.2 percent against a basket of six major currencies to 96.420, away from a one-month low of 95.926 set on Wednesday.
Banking sources said the People’s Bank of China had stepped up its intervention in yuan trading in a bid to stabilise prices. It was lately traded at 6.3982. Following China’s devaluation of the yuan, the dollar advanced against most rival currencies.
“Oil prices continue to move lower, which is a cause of concern for some in the United States”. Brent crude slipped 1.1 percent to $49.13.
Still, market players say investor sentiment on Japanese shares remained fairly strong, with many Japanese companies posting double-digit profit growth in April-June.
U.S. equities, which had rebounded from steep losses Wednesday, were mixed.
What caught the equity, commodity and currency markets off balance was a boon to key government debt such as U.S. Treasuries, German bunds and Japanese government bonds.
The 1.0 per cent expansion in January-March, or 3.9 per cent on an annualised basis, was sharply up from an initial estimate of 0.6 per cent growth.
The best performers of the session on the Nikkei 225 were Unitika, Ltd. (TOKYO:3103), which rose 7.69% or 5.0 points to trade at 70.0 at the close.
The euro was at $1.1127-1128, up from $1.1112-1113, and at ¥138.37-38, down from ¥138.44-46.
In New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended flat while the S&P 500 dipped 0.13 percent after retail sales beat predictions, raising expectations the US will hike interest rates soon.