Nikkei Falters After Hitting All-Time High

Asia-Pacific markets were largely lower on Friday, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 paring gains after crossing the 41,000 mark and hitting fresh record highs.

The Nikkei removed 1.28 points to 40,912.37.

Japan’s household spending for May unexpectedly dipped 1.8% in real terms compared to the same period last year. Economists polled by Reuters had estimated a 0.1% rise.

Household spending data is a key metric for the Bank of Japan’s to assess its goal of realizing a “virtuous cycle” of rising wages and prices.

Average spending per household in May was 290,328 yen ($1,799.28), while average monthly income stood at 500,231 yen, up 6.4% in nominal terms and 3% higher in real terms from the previous year.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index dumped 228.67 points, or 1.3%, to 17,799.61.

Investors will also be assessing retail sales numbers out from Singapore later today.

Korean markets prospered, as heavyweight Samsung Electronics on Friday estimated that its second quarter operating profit will surge almost 15-fold, mainly due to a rebound in semiconductor prices on the back of the artificial intelligence boom.

Samsung shares climbed 2.96%, hitting their highest level since January 2021.

In other markets

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 dropped 14.75 points, or 0.4%, to 3,431.06.

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index docked 29.07 points, or 0.9%, to 3,410.81.

In Korea, the Kospi index moved up 37.29 points, or 1.3%, to 2,862.23.

In Taiwan, the Taiex index gained 34.06 points, or 0.1%, to 23,556.59.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 picked up 48.15 points, or 0.4%, to 11.794.81.

In Australia, the ASX 200 doffed 9.5 points, or 0.1%, to 7,822.26.

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