People walk past goods at the market in Suwalki, Poland. Reuters
US underlying consumer prices increased solidly in August, leading to the largest annual gain in a year, but rising inflation is unlikely to deter the Federal Reserve from cutting interest rates again next week to support a slowing economy.
South Korea’s consumer inflation faltered to its slowest on record in August while second quarter economic growth was revised down on weaker exports, firming up the case for central bank rate cuts as early as next month.
Government’s efforts to reverse the slowdown on the back of a sluggish GDP growth is expected to induce volatility in the Indian equity markets during the coming week.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index was flat, while travel and leisure stocks shed the most among sectors with a 2.4% fall.
The dollar gave up gains made after the Federal Reserve upgraded its 2020 economic forecast this week to trade in negative territory on Thursday. It was last quoted at 92.923 against a basket of major currencies, on track for a 0.3% weekly loss.
Retail sales volumes rose by 0.8% in August, the Office for National Statistics said - slightly above the average 0.7% forecast in a Reuters poll - and, compared with a year earlier, they were up 2.8%, just below forecasts of 3.0% annual growth.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index added 0.18 per cent, or 40.93 points, to close at 23,360.30 for a weekly loss of 0.20 per cent. The broader Topix index finished 0.49 per cent, or 8.02 points, higher at 1,646.42 for a weekly gain of 0.60 per cent.