Asia-Pacific Markets Open Lower as Japanese Yen Weaken to Near 38-Year Low

Asia-Pacific markets commenced trading on Thursday with decreases, following a decline in the Japanese yen to a nearly 38-year low against the U.S. dollar, registering 160.82 per dollar.

The yen breached the 160 level against the dollar two months ago, leading to the Japanese government intervening to support it, marking the first currency intervention since 2022. Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki expressed the country’s serious worries about the FX impact on the economy.

In other economic updates, Japan’s year-on-year retail sales growth for May surpassed expectations at 3%, higher than the 2% forecast made by economists in a Reuters poll, compared to a revised 2% growth in April.

China reported a 3.4% yearly growth in industrial profits from January to May, amounting to 2.75 trillion Chinese yuan ($378.41 million). This follows a 4.3% increase in industrial profits for the first four months of the year.


As of 9:38 local time in Bangkok on Thursday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell by 1.08%. South Korea’s Kospi decreased by 0.34%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 commenced 0.98% lower, and in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index dipped by 1.63%, with mainland Shanghai SSEC down by 0.78%.

On the previous day in the U.S., the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up by 0.04%, the S&P 500 climbed by 0.16%, and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.49%. Amazon’s shares led the Nasdaq’s rise with a 3.9% jump.


Oil prices declined in early Asian trading on Thursday due to an unexpected increase in U.S. stockpiles, sparking concerns about sluggish demand from the largest oil consumer. However, fears of potential disruptions in Middle East supplies due to a possible escalation of the Gaza conflict limited the price drops.

This morning, Brent crude oil futures slipped by $0.34 or 0.4% to $84.91 per barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures decreased by $0.38 or 0.47% to $80.52 per barrel.