Asian indices closed mostly lower on Friday as the market currently digests the release of fresh economic data in Japan and the recent of tax reform in the United States.
Core consumer prices in Japan for the last month advanced by 0.7 percent, higher compared to last year. Retail sales were also up by 1.7 percent on the previous month but missed a median estimate for a 2.6 percent jump. The country’s industrial production marked an increase of 2.1 percent.
After the publication of the economic data, Japanese benchmark Nikkei 225 index dropped by 0.29 percent. The ASX 200 index traded 0.05 percent below the flat line, pulled down by its energy sector.
However, South Korean benchmark Kospi index didn’t go with the flow after jumping about 0.53 percent during the daily session, with its retail, oil and manufacturing stocks as the leading advancers. Auto stocks in the country went also up with Kia and Hyundai Motors rising by 1.3 percent and 2.04 percent respectively.
The price of gold was nearly unchanged on Friday as it was only slightly above a six-week low touched in the previous session. The sluggishness of the dollar weighed on the bullion.
U.S. gold futures edged up by 0.1 percent to trade at $1,289.80 an ounce for their December delivery. Spot gold was stable at $1,286.86 an ounce, close to its lowest level in three months.