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Asia-Pacific stocks fall as China’s retail sales data for August comes in far lower than expected

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were lower in Wednesday morning trade following losses overnight on Wall Street, with investors reacted to the release of Chinese economic data.

Mainland Chinese stocks fell, with the Shanghai composite down about 0.3% while the Shenzhen component shed 0.525%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dropped 1.44%.

Data released Wednesday showed China’s retail sales growing at a much lower pace than expected in August. The retail sales print for the month grew 2.5%, against a 7% growth forecast by analysts polled by Reuters.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan declined 1.05% while the Topix index slipped 1.41%. South Korea’s Kospi shed 0.28%.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.51%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.85% lower.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 292.06 points to 34,577.57 while the S&P 500 declined 0.57% to 4,443.05. The Nasdaq Composite shed 0.45% to 15,037.76. The losses stateside came despite an inflation reading for August that was weaker than expected.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.631 following its recent decline from levels above 92.7.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.56 per dollar, having strengthened yesterday from around 110.1 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7304, still struggling to recover after last week’s decline from above $0.74.

Oil prices were higher in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.41% to $73.90 per barrel. U.S. crude futures advanced 0.44% to $70.77 per barrel.

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