The Japanese stock exchange ended on Friday with a small profit. Investors took it easy and looked forward to the speech that President Jerome Powell of the Federal Reserve will give later in the day at the annual meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole, US. Market parties are particularly curious as to whether Powell will provide instructions on further interest rate cuts in the United States.
The Nikkei in Tokyo went 0.4 percent higher the weekend at 20,710.91 points. The Japanese main index won 1.4 percent this week. On a macroeconomic level, it appeared that Japanese core inflation, consumer prices excluding fresh food, reached 0.6 percent in July. That is the same as inflation in June. The Japanese central bank has a target for core inflation of 2 percent.
Japanese defense companies were on the rise after South Korea put an end to an agreement with Japan on the exchange of military intelligence. Japan and South Korea have been engaged in a diplomatic fight for some time. The makers of defense equipment Ishikawa Seisakusho and Howa Machinery rose 3.5 percent and 4.3 percent. Hanatour Japan, which organizes trips from Japan to South Korea, fell 1.7 percent.
The Chinese stock markets improved slightly. In the meantime, the stock market indicator in Shanghai posted 0.2 percent in the plus and the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong climbed 0.5 percent. The Kospi was virtually unchanged in Seoul. The All Ordinaries in Sydney recorded a profit of 0.3 percent.
Japanese core inflation, i.e. consumer prices excluding fresh food, remained unchanged in July compared to a month earlier. Annual inflation was 0.6 percent, the same as in June, the Japanese statistics agency reported.
The figure corresponds to the average expectation of economists. The Japanese central bank has a target for core inflation of 2 percent. Normal inflation in Japan was 0.5 percent in July, compared to 0.7 percent in June.