Asia Pacific stocks were set to end the week mixed. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index was trading almost flat after the release of Japan’s PPI data for July. Australia’s ASX 200 inched slightly higher amid vaccination rollout in the country. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index, as well as mainland Chinese stocks, Shanghai Composite, and Shenzhen Component, fell.

Japan’s Economic Concerns

Wholesale prices in Japan jumped in July, indicating that inflation in global commodities and a weak yen has been boosting raw material import costs. The prices rose at their fastest annual pace in 13 years.

According to the Bank of Japan (BOJ), the producer price index (PPI) for July came in 5.6% higher compared to a year earlier. It beat a median market forecast for a 5.0% gain. It rose from a 5.0% increase in June, marking the fastest annual growth since September 2008.

Wholesale prices advanced 1.1% on a month-on-month basis in July. It jumped from the previous 0.6% in June marking the biggest increase since October 2019. Wholesale prices for raw materials jumped in July compared to a year earlier.

According to the BOJ, the rise in wholesale goods prices reflects the global recovery. Japan’s wholesale prices are likely to continue with their uprun. However, there are still some uncertainties on the resurgence of Covid-19.

Nikkei 225 Performers

Recruit Holdings was the best performer in the Nikkei 225 index. The human resource company gained 10.26% after its first-quarter revenue jumped almost 40%. Its revenue for the first quarter ending June 30, stood at $6.02 billion, an increase of 39.8% compared to the previous year.

JFE Holdings Inc gained 8.92% in its stock earnings. The steel and engineering corporation edged higher amid a surge in commodity prices. JFE steel is the fifth-largest steelmaker in the world by revenue.

Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha has been on an uptrend for the past few days. It is the fourth largest transportation and shipping company in the world. It gained 4.28% in its stock price.

Oki Electric Industry led the laggards in the Nikkei 225 index. The Japanese information and communications technology company fell 8.80% on Friday.

Yamato Holdings Ltd is one of Japan’s largest door-to-door delivery service companies. The company’s stock fell more than 5.02% earlier on Friday.

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