The Irrawaddy

Asia Stocks Slip on Weakness in US Retail Sales

Asian stock markets were mostly lower Friday after disappointing US retail sales stirred concerns about the robustness of the recovery in the world’s No. 1 economy. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.8 percent to 21,089.17 and South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.4 percent to 1,987.46. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.8 percent to 4,393.90. Benchmarks in Singapore, New Zealand and Indonesia fell. Mainland China and Taiwan rose. Markets in Japan were closed for a public holiday. Investor nerves have also been tested by a report that showed US businesses adding far fewer jobs in April than they did in March.—AP