Asia-Pacific markets faced a notable downturn as investors braced themselves for key insights into U.S. monetary policy emerging from discussions at the Jackson Hole meeting on Friday. Among the anticipated contributions, U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s speech was awaited with particular interest.
Leading the losses in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index encountered a significant decline of 2.05%, ultimately closing at 31,624.28. Simultaneously, the Topix index experienced a decrease of 0.88%, coming to a close at 2,266.4. This decline marked an end to the four-day consecutive gains that both indexes had maintained.
Japan’s capital, Tokyo, revealed its core inflation rate for August, which stood at 2.8%. This figure, although slightly below economists’ projections of 2.9%, as per a Reuters poll, underscores the ongoing intricacies of the nation’s economic landscape. The core inflation rate is computed by excluding the impact of fresh food prices. In contrast, the overall inflation rate for Tokyo in August landed at 2.9%, indicating a decrease from the 3.2% recorded in July.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index followed the regional trend, experiencing a 0.93% dip, concluding at 7,115.2. South Korea’s Kospi index faced a 0.73% decline, ending at 2,519.14, while the Kosdaq index registered a smaller reduction of 0.26%, closing at 899.38.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index demonstrated a significant decline of 1.28% in its final hour of trading, reflecting market uncertainties. Conversely, mainland Chinese markets experienced a comparatively smaller contraction. The CSI 300 index dipped by 0.38%, ultimately settling at 3,709.15.