Asia Lower on Weaker U.S. Dollar

Asia-Pacific stocks were mostly lower by the close on Thursday, as U.S. markets again notched highs after data showed inflation was not as bad as feared. The dollar weakened while Asian currencies rose.

The Nikkei 225 dropped 55.49 points, or 0.2%, to 28,015.20.

In earnings, Apple supplier Hon Hai Precision Industry, better known as Foxconn, reported quarterly profit that beat expectations. Its April to June net profit was up 30% from a year earlier. \

Meanwhile, the Japanese yen traded at 110.41, strengthening from levels above 110.7 the day before.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng subtracted 142.34 points, or 0.5%, to 26,517.82.

In its Hong Kong debut, Chinese electric vehicle maker Li Auto’s shares dipped as much as 1.8% below their offer price, according to Refinitiv Eikon data. It later pared some of those losses to dip around 1% by the afternoon.

Markets will continue to monitor the COVID situation in the region after the World Health Organization warned global cases could pass 300 million by early next year if the pandemic continues in its current direction. The projection came just a week after the WHO reported 200 million COVID cases worldwide and six months after the globe topped 100 million cases.

Meanwhile, South Korea reported a new daily record of more than 2,200 cases, its health minister said Wednesday, according to Reuters.
In Australia, Melbourne extended its lockdown by another week as it struggles to contain the highly infectious delta variant.

On Thursday afternoon, the Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7361, strengthening from levels above $0.732 seen yesterday.

In other markets

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 docked 41.99 points, or 0.8%, to 4,973.35.

In Singapore, the Straits Times eked higher 2.8 points, or 0.1%, to 3,182.80

The Kospi index in Korea dipped 12.24 points, or 0.4%, to 3,208.35.

In Taiwan, the Taiex index subtracted 7.24 points to 17,219.94

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 deducted 66.25 points, or 0.5%, to 12,681.81.

In Australia, the ASX 200 inched higher 3.88 points, or 0.1 %, at 7,588.19