Asia closes lower on a difficult trading week

<p>Asian shares were lower in late afternoon trading, rounding out a difficult week for traders. The MSCI Asia Pacific index was down around 1% when […]</p>

Asian shares were lower in late afternoon trading, rounding out a difficult week for traders. The MSCI Asia Pacific index was down around 1% when trading resumed in Hong Kong, remaining near those levels through to the afternoon session. Malaysia is expected to release their economic growth numbers Friday evening Asian time, most likely pointing to a weakening in the rate of growth.

Market estimates are for Malaysian GDP growth of 4.8% in the September quarter but the number could print closer to last quarter’s 4%. Thailand’s meanwhile is struggling to contain the impact of natural disasters with rampant flooding which has gripped the nation over the past month.

Japan’s central bank has already warned of the impact from Thai flooding on export and output volumes of Japanese multinationals.

In currencies, the Australian dollar clawed back some lost ground after the currency fell below parity against the U.S. dollar overnight. The AUD/USD was last trading at 1.002, still not out of parity reach. The Japanese Yen continues to build in its gains, slowly reversing intra-day losses. The USD/JPY pair was last trading at 76.93.

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