Asian shares fall after weak US retail sales data

<p>Japanese shares were hit by a stronger yen.</p>

Asian stocks fell today (May 14th) after the release of worse-than-expected US retail sales, which fuelled worries about growth in the world’s largest economy.

The Commerce Department's latest monthly report showed retail sales remained flat in April, falling short of Wall Street forecasts.

The yen strengthened following the release of the data, gaining 0.6 per cent to trade at 119.19 against the dollar – sending Japanese share down.

"While US growth is rebounding, it may not rebound as far and as fast as many investors had expected," Russ Koesterich, global chief investment strategist at New York-based BlackRock Inc., told Bloomberg. "The Fed is likely to raise rates this fall."

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 0.6 per cent to 19,656.28 and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.9 per cent to 5,664.60. Hong Kong's Hang Seng edged up 0.1 per cent to 27,278.94, and South Korea's Kospi added 0.1 per cent to 2,115.96.

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